Media Release

International Trade Strengthens Canada's Competitive Position: Embedded Trade Commissioner to Join Consider Canada City Alliance

May 14, 2014: Ottawa, ON – The Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Ed Fast, announced a series of measures today to improve the ability of cities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take economic advantage of Canada’s increasing network of investment and trade agreements and policies. Among the commitments was the assignment of an embedded trade commissioner position to the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA).

The CCCA brings together 12 of Canada’s major cities to work together to attract investment from around the world. This collaborative approach to international outreach allows the participating regions to leverage their investment dollars and increase the scope of their activities. The ability of CCCA members to work directly with the Invest in Canada Bureau and the Trade Commissioner Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development brings this collaborative approach to a new level. As city economies increasingly become the drivers of national economies, this innovative linking of municipal and federal organizations will strengthen Canada’s value equation to foreign investors and create a more direct link between SMEs and Canada’s foreign presence.

“Canada’s small- and medium-sized businesses are job creators for hardworking Canadians in every region of the country,” said Minister Fast. “Our government is committed to helping them grow, expand and succeed in new markets around the world, which we know creates new jobs and opportunities here at home.”

The Trade Commissioner Service, with representation in over 150 cities worldwide, provides hands-on knowledge of international markets and extensive networks of international business contacts. CCCA members have equivalent knowledge and networks within their individual communities. This new position will provide the vital link between these two networks, increasing the exchange of information in a much more streamlined and cost-effective process. It will also assist in achieving a better understanding of the respective roles in investment and trade at the federal and community levels.

“The partnership between the CCCA and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development on investment attraction and business retention has been steadily growing,” said Paul Kent, chair of the CCCA and president and CEO of the Greater Halifax Partnership. “Having an embedded trade commissioner further improves our ability to capture investment and trade opportunities in an increasingly constrained resource environment. This represents a global best practice.”

As a vital contributor to Winnipeg’s economic environment, Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) continues to facilitate meaningful connections while enhancing its global networking initiatives. Winnipeg’s stability, capability and diversity are resonating with local and international audiences alike, and EDW is committed to ensuring this momentum continues. Its active participation in the CCCA and its ongoing outreach to Canada’s foreign posts reinforce and advance this long-term strategy, and puts the city in the best possible position to convince its principal target markets—Asia, Western Europe and the U.S., for example—that Winnipeg is a formidable force to be reckoned with in the effort to attract investment.     

“Canada’s overall competitiveness forms a compelling value proposition to investors from all over the world,” said Marina R. James, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “And yet one of the greatest challenges our major cities face, Winnipeg included, is getting the word out to the right audiences about these important differentiators. The first significant step toward addressing this issue was the establishment of the CCCA, which works hard as a collective to champion Canada’s most dynamic city-level economies in a way that benefits everyone.”

“Today’s announcement marks another critical piece to this puzzle,” said Greg Dandewich, senior vice-president of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “The federal government’s decision to assign a dedicated resource to the CCCA is both an acknowledgement of and a commitment to this organization’s pioneering initiatives to increase the flow of foreign direct investment into Canada. I’m confident this welcome move will yield important dividends when it comes to creating a unified and unique voice espousing Canada’s unparalleled investment climate.”  

Making it easier for foreign investors to match their objectives to the opportunities available in Canada is the bottom line for the CCCA. Having a resource active within the extensive trade commission network spreads the message much faster and more broadly. This position increases Canada’s global competitiveness through the effective leveraging of federal and community resources.

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About the Consider Canada City Alliance
Incorporated in 2012, the 12 member cities of the Consider Canada City Alliance represent approximately 56 per cent of Canada’s population, 59 per cent of Canada’s employment, 61 per cent of its GDP and—between 2008 and 2013—82 per cent of GDP growth. As a united front, Canada’s large cities—Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Québec City, Winnipeg, Waterloo Region, London and Saskatoon—help international companies determine the best strategies for business expansion and continually improve Canada’s ability to attract new investment and trade opportunities. For more information on the Consider Canada City Alliance, please go to www.considercanada.com or www.canadaentete.com.

About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building, tourism development, marketing and the management of market information. By applying competitive intelligence and by fostering relationships with industry leaders, government officials and community stakeholders, potential opportunities and innovation drivers are evaluated to develop key industries and define future economic growth. EDW supports targeted sector development and promotes Winnipeg’s diverse economy and high quality of life.

EDW leads global investment attraction, and local business retention and expansion, with its YES! Winnipeg initiative. YES! Winnipeg’s business development team assists in the creation and retention of jobs, identifies opportunities that attract new investment, focuses on expansion and helps local entrepreneurs launch new commercial ventures.

Tourism Winnipeg is the city’s official destination marketing organization tasked with increasing visitation and delivering the best possible visitor experience. A division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully integrated tourism industry that enhances Winnipeg’s economic growth through the acquisition of meetings, conventions, sports and events, group travel and leisure tourism.

www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

For further information, please contact:

Croft Petersmeyer
Director, Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Phone: 204.954.1961 Cell: 204.898.4866
croft@economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

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