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August 16, 2011
For immediate release

Federal/Provincial International Business Development Agreement

Innovation and Advanced Learning


The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, today joined the ministers of the four Atlantic provinces to announce the five-year renewal of the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA). Canadian businesses in the region will continue to benefit from assistance for their export-related activities, thanks to a $10 million investment.

“Economic growth and job creation are priorities for our Government, and it is clear to me that in Atlantic Canada, we have the expertise and the competencies to succeed everywhere in the world. This agreement will make it possible for businesses in our region to access new markets, which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity here at home,” said Minister of State Valcourt.

“Through jobsHere, Nova Scotia’s plan to grow our economy, we are helping businesses compete globally by being innovative, competitive and providing opportunities for our workers to learn the skills needed for good jobs,” said the Honourable Percy Paris, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “The Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development supports our province’s plan by offering businesses in Nova Scotia the opportunity to expand and grow, connecting them with international markets opportunities. We want to ensure they have access to the knowledge and expertise required to compete on a global stage.”

“We are proud to be able to help New Brunswick companies explore new and emerging markets through The Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development,” said the Honourable Paul Robichaud, New Brunswick’s Economic Development Minister. “This partnership with the federal government shows that by working together, governments can help businesses grow and be more prosper right here in Atlantic Canada.”

“The IBDA has proven to be a valuable regional partnership,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. “Over the years, it has improved the export readiness and led to new opportunities for businesses from a wide-range of industry sectors. By agreeing to the extension of the IBDA, the Provincial Government is further enhancing the ability of local businesses and organizations to link to new sales opportunities, market intelligence, and other initiatives that support the continued expansion of the province’s business community.”

"Under the Agreement on International Business Development, we have seen numerous Prince Edward Island companies take part in export development projects including trade missions, shows and training sessions," said the Honourable Allan Campbell, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning. "With international trade being such an important part of Prince Edward Island's economy, it only makes sense for us to continue to support such a valuable partnership."

The IBDA is a federal/provincial agreement between the Government of Canada (ACOA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Industry Canada) and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, and is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses enter, explore and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is the leading component of a pan Atlantic effort to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation.

The assistance provided under this agreement may take various forms, including training, promotion of the region as a trade partner of choice, information on foreign markets, participation in trade missions or fairs or help marketing new technologies.

Since the launch of the agreement 17 years ago, IBDA funding has helped 200 Atlantic Canadian companies begin to export. It has helped more than 300 exporting companies define and enter new markets and has helped yet more than 450 others increase their sales and presence in existing markets.


• The mandate of the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) is to help established exporters in Atlantic Canada expand their activities into new and more diversified markets, and to help new exporters get started.

• The IBDA was launched in 1994 with a total value of $3 million. The agreement has been extended five times over 17 years with a total combined budget of $35 million.

• Over the next five years, IBDA will focus on increasing exports, soliciting foreign direct investment, commercializing new technology, and promoting the region as an ideal business partner.

• The funding of the Agreement is cost-shared between the federal government (70%) and the provincial governments (30%).

• Since the launch of the agreement, IBDA funding has helped 200 Atlantic Canadian companies begin to export. It has helped more than 300 exporting companies define and enter new markets and has helped yet more than 450 others increase their sales and presence in existing markets.

• Every $1 million in exports sustains 8 to 10 jobs in Atlantic Canada.

• Economic expansion in Atlantic Canada is tied to improved trade performance, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The IBDA sets out to fund activities that help enterprising companies overcome obstacles and seize opportunities in new markets.

• The IBDA is aligned with the Government of Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy, and supports other national strategies like the Strategy of the Americas. It also aims to help Atlantic Canada prepare for free trade agreements with partners like India and the European Union.

• The goals of the 2011-2016 Agreement are to:

- increase the number of companies and organizations undertaking international business development activities;

- increase sales for companies and organizations to current international markets;

- assist companies and organizations to diversify their international markets;

- develop a stronger culture of doing international business; and,

- lead in international business development planning and coordination in Atlantic Canada.

• Over the next five years, the Agreement will focus on export development in sectors such as:

- Aerospace and Defence

- Building products

- Consumer products

- Cultural industries

- Education and Training

- Energy

- Environmental industries

- Food and Beverage

- Information and Communication Technologies

- Life Sciences and Bio Technology

- Ocean Technologies

Media Contact: Rosalie Murphy
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