Minister Carr announces investments to strengthen British Columbia’s businesses

From: Global Affairs Canada

May 9, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s trade diversification strategy is focused on securing access to new markets and supporting our businesses to reach new customers abroad, in order to create jobs for the middle class here at home.

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, will be in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia, today to highlight how Budget 2019 is helping businesses in the province to expand their markets and increase exports, while also assisting local communities in attracting foreign direct investment.

To underscore the Government of Canada’s commitment to these goals, Minister Carr will meet with the Vancouver Economic Commission to announce CanExport – Community Investments funding in support of the commission’s goal of attracting job-creating foreign companies (that are aligned with local economic interests) to the Vancouver region. Today’s funding announcement brings the total CanExport – Community Investments funding for British Columbia communities since 2016 to $1.6 million.

In January 2019, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Minister Carr met with C.P. Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra. Tech Mahindra is a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services and solutions and an excellent example of foreign direct investment successes. Facilitated by Invest in Canada and with the support of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Mumbai, the Vancouver Economic Commission, and British Columbia’s India Trade and Investment Office, Tech Mahindra will open a software development centre in Vancouver in summer 2019, which will create up to 100 new jobs in the Vancouver area.

Minister Carr will meet with British Columbia companies who have received CanExport funding to help increase their exporting. He will tour the production facilities of Response Biomedical, a leading manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests, and Aspect Biosystems, a biotechnology company specializing in 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. Minister Carr will also visit Powertech Labs, an important innovator in the British Columbia cleantech ecosystem that has leveraged the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to expand into international markets.

To highlight opportunities that British Columbia companies now have to diversify their export markets, Minister Carr will be meeting with the Business Council of British Columbia. During a round-table discussion with council members and senior executives, he will outline the various Government of Canada programs and services that are now available to British Columbia businesses. Minister Carr will deliver the same message during a keynote address at the Surrey Board of Trade’s International Trade Awards ceremony, explaining how the government aims to make Canada the most well-connected trading economy worldwide and, ultimately, create more jobs here at home.

While Minister Carr is in Vancouver, the Forest Products Association of Canada will present him with the 2019 Forest Sector Champion award in recognition of his support for the forestry sector and his championing of trade diversification for forest products.

“Helping businesses in British Columbia and across Canada to compete and succeed in international markets is vital to the Canadian economy. That is why we are investing $1.1 billion over the next six years to help Canadian businesses grow and tap into new markets. By pursuing trade diversification and continuing to invest in local communities, we continue to promote Canada as a place of business that is open to the world.”

– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

“Export activity directly benefits communities across British Columbia, creating jobs for people around our province. Our partnership with the federal government and the Vancouver Economic Commission will go a long way to help businesses get their goods and services to global markets.”

– Bruce Ralston, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

“Of the more than 80,000 businesses in Vancouver, about 98 percent of them are small to medium-sized. This federal funding helps the Vancouver Economic Commission support local sectors and global relationships for Vancouver with capital attraction, market intelligence and talent recruitment. It’s critical that our small business community thrives in order for Vancouver to continue building a diverse, resilient and inclusive economy.”

– Catherine Warren, Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Economic Commission

“Canada’s inviting business climate, our access to large and growing markets and our position as a global leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning make Vancouver an ideal location for Tech Mahindra’s software development centre. We are pleased to work with our partners in British Columbia and Vancouver to help the company expand and diversify its footprint in Canada.”

– Ian McKay, Chief Executive Officer, Invest in Canada

“As part of our TechMNxt charter, Tech Mahindra is committed to investing in next generation technologies and creating a digital talent pool to address customer demands. Our upcoming software development centre in Vancouver will not only create up to 100 new jobs in the local region, but will also enable us to leverage Canada’s talent pool, lucrative business environment and access to global markets to create a differentiated experience for our customers.”

– Amit Sood, Senior Vice-President and Country Head, Tech Mahindra

Quick facts

  • The 2018 Fall Economic Statement invested $100 million over six years to reinforce the CanExport program and related funding programs so that more Canadian businesses can explore new overseas markets, especially high-growth emerging markets and markets benefiting from free trade agreements such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • To date, the CanExport program has supported more than 1,200 Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises with 1,500 projects to expand their markets and increase export activities in more than 110 markets around the world.

  • Since 2016, the CanExport – Community Investments program has funded 148 organizations across Canada with more than $16 million in support of foreign direct investment attraction, retention and expansion.

/Public Release. View in full here.