During the past year, the Government of Canada, through ACOA, supported more than 60 international business missions for Atlantic companies and organizations in sectors such as aerospace and defence, education, ocean technology, energy, and information and communications technologies. These missions, as well as 16 international delegations that ACOA brought to the region to meet with potential trade partners, provided Atlantic companies with unique opportunities to make the connections they need to do business globally.

In order to seize the opportunities offered by the global economy, ACOA’s focus was increasingly directed toward growing markets like India, China and the Americas, which have seen increases in gross domestic product, as well as in the number of middle to higher income buyers who have more purchasing power and a desire for quality products.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Marine Industrial Lighting Systems Ltd. of Mount Pearl, is one company that knows the value of making international connections, having participated in missions to Chile and Brazil in 2012. The company is working in the field of specialized marine and industrial lighting and is one of a few companies that can provide custom lighting solutions that standard “off the shelf” products are not able to offer.

“Marine Industrial Lighting is very excited about the prospects identified in the South American market,” said Sid Cox, General Manager, Marine Industrial Lighting Systems Ltd. “Even though there are significant obstacles to overcome, Atlantic Canadian companies such as ours are well positioned to become involved in this growing market with effort and support from Agencies such as ACOA.”

“Our government is strongly committed to developing global trade relationships that promote growth and create jobs for Canadians. Over the coming years, we will continue to work with provincial governments and the private sector to focus efforts on helping Atlantic Canadian businesses maintain and increase their export capabilities,” explained Minister Valcourt. “Markets like India, China and the Americas hold enormous potential for bi-lateral trade with Canada and we will continue helping our companies to make the connections needed for future growth in these regions.”

The Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) has been instrumental in allowing ACOA to deliver on its International Business Development mandate. Renewed in 2011, the five-year, $10 million agreement is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses explore, enter and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is the leading component of a federal/provincial pan-Atlantic effort to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation.

According to a Federal Government release, since the launch of the agreement 18 years ago, IBDA funding has helped hundreds of Atlantic Canadian companies begin to export. The IBDA has also 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.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Goostrey, Client Services Manager, communications, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Head Office, 506-851-4831