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NEWS RELEASE · 27th September 2010
M. of International Trade
Minister Van Loan says trade leads to jobs and prosperity at home

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today congratulated Prince Edward Island’s entrepreneurs for looking beyond Canada’s borders. The Minister was addressing the annual Diplomatic Forum being held in Charlottetown.

“Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have always been great traders,” said Minister Van Loan. “The traditional export products of seafood and agriculture have been supplemented by pharmaceutical and aerospace products, which have maintained the East Coast provinces’ reputation as world traders.”

Between 2004 and 2009, 32 percent of Atlantic Canada’s gross domestic product came from international trade, two percentage points higher than the national average.

The Harper government contributes to P.E.I.’s participation in the global economy. With a regional office in Charlottetown, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) partners with the provincial government and key federal partners, such as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), to encourage local businesses to go global.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support local companies and organizations that are interested in creating wealth and jobs by engaging in international trade,” said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. “I know that the Island economy will continue to rely on exports and that Islanders will continue to prove themselves to be successful global entrepreneurs.”

The TCS, Innovation PEI and ACOA have an ambitious foreign trade agenda this year with Trade Team Prince Edward Island. Trade missions are planned to New England, New York City and area, Philadelphia, Florida, Japan, and the Caribbean region, as well as to various U.S. and international trade shows.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada also offers funding programs that are helping P.E.I. businesses find new partners around the world.

Going Global Innovation is supporting Neurodyn Inc., a company focusing on neurological diseases. An $18,781 contribution helped the company sign a memorandum of understanding with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to research epilepsy.

Invest Canada-Community Initiatives is supporting the community of Summerside with a $24,200 contribution to help it further develop and attract foreign investment that creates jobs in P.E.I.

And just this week, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada was a partner with Innovation PEI, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the P.E.I. BioAlliance, and the Centre for Health and Biotech Management Research (University of Prince Edward Island) in hosting high-profile and internationally renowned venture capitalists during National Biotechnology Week.