Skip to Main Content

Web Archive

print small medium large 

aussi disponible en français
May 28, 2014
For immediate release

Federal-Provincial Trade Agreement celebrates 20 years of helping Atlantic businesses export

Innovation PEI

The Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces are today celebrating the anniversary of an agreement to work together towards a common goal: increasing the number of Atlantic Canadian companies competing in international markets. That agreement, the Canada-Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA), continues to be a catalyst for Atlantic Canadian businesses looking to reach international markets.

This unique federal-provincial agreement, signed May 27, 1994, has enabled over 520 Atlantic Canadian companies to increase their sales and expand their presence in markets across the globe. The only agreement of its kind in the country, the IBDA brings together the federal government and the four Atlantic provincial governments to support projects of interest to the region as a whole, and pursue strategic discussions, allowing for a more coordinated vision for international business development in Atlantic Canada.

The assistance provided under the IBDA has taken various forms over the years, including training, promoting the region as a trade partner of choice, providing information on foreign markets, supporting participation in trade missions or fairs, or helping to market new technologies.

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

Quick Facts:

• Since the launch of the agreement, IBDA funding has helped 204 Atlantic Canadian companies begin to export. It has helped 359 exporting companies identify and enter new markets and has helped 521 others increase their sales and presence in existing markets.

• The IBDA was launched in 1994 with an initial combined investment of $3 million. The agreement has been extended five times over the past 20 years with a total combined investment of $35 million. Collectively, in 2012 alone, companies attending IBDA missions reported as much as an estimated $7.2 million in onsite sales, between $20.9 and $29 million plus in projected sales and over $6.5 million in partnership agreements.

• Since the signing of the last agreement, IBDA activities have focused on increasing exports, attracting foreign direct investment, commercializing new technology, and promoting the region as an ideal business partner.


“By actively pursuing new trade and investment opportunities like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, our Government is providing Canadian workers and businesses with preferred access to the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing economies and regions of the world. Partnerships like the IBDA, forged 20 years ago with the Atlantic provinces, are crucial to our efforts in helping businesses enter, explore, and succeed in these new markets. By working together, we are making Atlantic Canada stronger and ensuring economic growth for years to come.”

- The Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

“The Nova Scotia Government wants to partner with companies that are ready to take their business to the next level, and expand into new international markets. We need more businesses involved in trade, and strong partnerships like the IBDA help our businesses explore new opportunities, build connections and grow their companies. Together we can become more globally competitive and drive our economy forward.”

- Michel Samson, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Nova Scotia

“Jobs and the economy are our government’s number one priority. This Agreement is a critical funding tool for our provincial exporters in New Brunswick and this is a model agreement for cooperation between both levels of government and industry.”

- Bruce Fitch, Minister of Economic Development, New Brunswick

“For two decades the IBDA has helped open doors for Island businesses as they seek opportunity in markets around the world. As Minister, I have been very pleased to see Island businesses succeed internationally through the cooperation of our four provincial governments and federal counterparts. ”

- Allen Roach, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, Prince Edward Island

“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has been pleased to participate in the IBDA for the past 20 years. This partnership has helped our business community increase our trade activities by growing the number of new exporters, diversifying the markets of current exporters and increasing the overall value of exports from the region. Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong presence in international trade and the IBDA has supported our efforts to increase and strengthen that presence. Our government has utilized this agreement to support business development in new and existing markets, particularly the United States, India, China and Brazil.”

- Susan Sullivan, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Newfoundland and Labrador

Associated Links:

International Business Development Agreement

IBDA 2014 Fact Sheet

Canada-Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) 20th anniversary

May 27, 2014

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

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

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

• The Agreement currently focuses on export development in sectors such as:

- Aerospace and defence

- Building products

- Consumer products

- Education and training

- Renewable energy and clean technologies

- Environmental industries

- Food and beverage

- Information and communication technologies

- Life sciences and biotechnology

- Ocean technologies

• Every $1 million in exports sustains four to five jobs in Atlantic Canada.

Media Contact: Amber Caseley
back to top