Canadian businesses in the Atlantic region will continue to benefit from help for export-related activities, thanks to a $10-million investment. Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, joined Bernard Valcourt, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and other Atlantic province ministers to announce the five-year renewal of the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA). “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 Mr. Paris. “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.” “Economic growth and job creation are priorities for the government of Canada, 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 Mr. Valcourt. Paul Robichaud, New Brunswick Minister of Economic Development, agreed. “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 Mr. Robichaud. “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 Susan Sullivan, Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Allan Campbell, P.E.I. 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 and the four Atlantic provinces 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 more than 450 others increase their sales and presence in existing markets.