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December 5, 2014 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today held a pre-budget consultation with representatives of Halifax-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to seek input on how Canada can contribute to job creation, growth and long-term prosperity.
During the round table, Minister Fast marked the one-year anniversary of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the Harper government’s pro-export, pro-jobs plan. He reviewed the historic trade achievements under GMAP that benefit hard-working Canadians in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada. In just one year, the government has delivered on its GMAP commitment to eliminate tariffs and provide preferential market access for Nova Scotia exports, including through:
- the conclusion of negotiations and release of the complete text of the historic Canada-European Union trade agreement. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Nova Scotia’s key exports. On the first day of the agreement’s coming into force, 96 percent of tariffs on fish and seafood products and 99 percent of tariffs on manufactured products entering the EU will be eliminated. Nova Scotia and the Port of Halifax, as Canada’s gateway to Europe, are well positioned to benefit from increased export opportunities to the EU market and its 500 million consumers.
- the conclusion of Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia with the landmark Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which is on track to come into force on January 1, 2015. Nova Scotia will see tremendous opportunities for export growth, given the complete elimination of South Korean duties on many Canadian products. For example, Nova Scotia currently ships 40,000 kg of lobster to South Korea each week, and the 20-percent tariff on this product will drop to zero once the agreement comes into force.
Minister Fast also provided an overview of the government’s vigorous trade promotion efforts, noting that historic trade agreements require historic trade promotion. Under GMAP, the Harper government is supporting workers and businesses across Nova Scotia and ensuring that SMEs have all the necessary tools to seize new opportunities and realize their full export potential.
Key elements of the trade promotion efforts include:
Go Global Export Workshops
Minister Fast held a workshop in Halifax this morning with more than 75 participants, in collaboration with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and all the Government of Canada’s export support agencies. Under GMAP, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation have been aligning their activities, facilitating referrals, sharing market intelligence and information, and providing a whole-of-government approach to boost SME exports.
Regional Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Activities
In 2014, the TCS’s Atlantic Regional Office, based in Halifax, assisted 299 SMEs, providing them with on-the-ground international business support, including 436 targeted services, and connecting them to markets of interest.
Trade commissioners have been embedded with private sector partners across Canada, including with the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Nova Scotia and the Association of Seafood Producers, so they may work closely with Nova Scotia businesses to ensure the Government of Canada is responsive to their needs. Discussions are under way with the Association of Canadian Port Authorities for a similarly embedded position at the Port of Halifax.
Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC helped 155 Nova Scotia companies finance or insure $836 million worth of international sales and investments. For example, EDC funded Acadian Seaplants Limited’s acquisition in Ireland and provided Nautel Limited with financing for foreign buyers, enabling the company to operate in 77 countries.
Nova Scotia’s overall exports are projected to increase by a sky-high 35 percent in 2014, the most growth of any province. This growth is expected to temper in 2015 to a more modest 3 percent, but still from a much higher base.
Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)
CCC has helped Halifax-area companies such as Rolls-Royce Canada Limited, Armament Technology Incorporated and IMP Group Limited to export to the U.S. and abroad.
Attracting Job-Creating Investments in Nova Scotia
Significant investments were made in Nova Scotia in 2014 that created jobs and opportunities for Canadians. For example, DSM Nutritional Products, part of Royal DSM NV, a global leader in health nutritional ingredients, announced a $30-million expansion of its Mulgrave facility and is now one of Nova Scotia’s largest employers in the life sciences industry.
Through the Invest Canada – Community Initiatives (ICCI) program, the Government of Canada provided a total of $129,000 to four Nova Scotia communities or community organizations: Greater Halifax Partnership, Halifax Gateway Council, Municipality of East Hants and the Town of Antigonish, to help attract job-creating investments in Nova Scotia.
Opening Markets and Supporting Nova Scotia Businesses Abroad
In 2014, Minister Fast led a trade mission to the United Kingdom that included representatives of three Nova Scotia companies: Clearwater Seafoods LP, Louisbourg Seafood Limited and Terra Beata Farms.
Minister Fast also led the Canadian delegation at the Seafood Expo Global 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, to promote fish and seafood exports. He was joined by representatives of 10 Nova Scotia companies: Breakers Fish Company Ltd., Fisher King Seafoods, Clearwater Seafoods LP, Gidney Fisheries Ltd., James L. Mood Fisheries Ltd., IMO Foods Ltd., I. Deveau Fisheries Ltd., Pearlmark Foods Inc., Zeus Seafood Inc. and Victoria Co-operative Fisheries.
Innovative companies from Nova Scotia can count on the support of the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program. Eight companies from Nova Scotia participated in CTA programs in 2014. For example, information technology company Analyze RE, from Halifax, participated in a CTA in the U.K.
Nova Scotia-based Green Power Labs has executed a major business development and cooperation agreement with China’s State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute. The scope of cooperation includes solar project development in China and other countries and the development of new technology and applications in core areas of smart building, smart city and smart grid design.
Minister Fast encouraged Nova Scotia-based businesses to take advantage of the Enterprise Canada Network, provided in partnership with EDC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, which provides online access to more than 30,000 business profiles and opportunities in the European market.
Under GMAP, the Harper government committed to developing comprehensive strategies in key sectors, including the International Education Strategy (IES). In January 2014, the IES was released with the goal of attracting innovative researchers and students to Canada and entrenching ties between Canadian educational institutions and their global counterparts. In 2013 there were 9,920 international students studying in Nova Scotia, delivering economic and social benefits to the province.
Minister Fast invited businesses in Nova Scotia to accompany him on his first trade mission of 2015. This trade mission to South Korea, which will take place from February 8 to 13, will enable businesses to take full advantage of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and benefit from the on-the-ground support from the Government of Canada.
Minister Fast concluded the pre-budget round table by stating that Canada will not engage in reckless new spending or new taxes that will lead Canada down a path of fiscal deficits and economic decline. Instead, the government will remain focused on what matters most to Canadians: creating jobs and encouraging economic growth.
“This year, 2014, has been the most successful year for international trade in Canadian history, benefiting hard-working Canadians in Nova Scotia and in every region of the country. Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, we will continue our vigorous trade promotion efforts to boost our exports.
“In 2015, we will continue to focus on the real priorities of hard-working Canadians: creating new jobs and prosperity.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade