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Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces support to open new markets for small and medium-sized businesses

Posted in Canada

Published on March 18, 2015 with No Comments



Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a number of measures to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seize opportunities abroad as part of the Government’s pro-jobs and pro-export plan. These measures will help SMEs expand their businesses and create jobs by exploring new export opportunities for their goods and services, including to new and emerging markets. He was joined by Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville.


The Prime Minister first announced a new export market development program that would provide direct financial assistance to entrepreneurs seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets, especially in high-growth emerging markets. These initiatives will be particularly helpful in helping SMEs finance activities such as participation in trade fairs and missions, and market research to create new business opportunities.


He also announced that the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) will receive new staffing and programming resources to further assist Canadians doing business with the world. The TCS has more than 160 trade offices in Canada and around the world to help provide export advice and guidance to entrepreneurs.


Today’s announcements build on the Government’s commitment to encourage and support entrepreneurship by connecting them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Small and medium-sized enterprises represent 99 per cent of all businesses in Canada and account for nearly 90 per cent of jobs in the private sector.


Following the conclusion of negotiations of the trade agreement with the European Union and the coming-into-force of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement on January 1st, 2015, Canadian businesses will soon benefit from preferential access to more than half of the entire global marketplace. These measures build on the Government’s Global Markets Action Plan’s goal to nearly double the number of SMEs exporting to emerging markets to 21,000 and our “Go Global” export workshops that provide SMEs the tools and practical information they need to take advantage of international business opportunities to export.


The announcements made today were informed by consultations with SMEs and would be implemented on an expedited basis.


Quick Facts


  • One Canadian job in five is directly dependent on exports.
  • There are more than one million SMEs across Canada, with 41,000 currently exporting.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s new export market development program announced today could assist between 500 to 1,000 Canadian exporters per year.
  • The Government’s expansion of the TCS will include additional funding on an ongoing basis to add new trade commissioners in priority markets, including high-growth emerging markets and new free trade partners such as Korea and the European Union. It would also add new programming resources to expand promotion and outreach efforts.
  • Since 2006, our Government has concluded trade agreements or concluded negotiations of trade agreements with 38 countries, bringing the total to 43 countries.




“Our Government is committed to creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians and we understand that the majority of private sector jobs are created by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We have made it a priority to support the men and women who run SMEs, especially as they explore opportunities in emerging markets and look to take advantage of Canada’s new trade agreements in Europe and Asia, where they now have preferential access to half of the world’s consumers.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper


“Our Government continues to enhance the ability of SMEs across Canada to seek out emerging markets for their goods and services, generating economic growth, increasing our global competitiveness, and creating jobs as a result.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper


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