Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra announces investments to help businesses access new markets

From: Global Affairs Canada

May 21, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises are the engines that drive economic prosperity and create jobs for the middle class. Opening new international markets and expanding existing ones are central to the Government of Canada’s trade diversification strategy, which aims to propel Canadian businesses to new markets, new customers and new jobs.

Today, Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, was in Mississauga to highlight the $100‑million expansion of the CanExport SMEs program and meet with companies that have benefited from the program to grow their exports. This funding program helps Canadian small and medium-sized companies access new export opportunities by diversifying into new markets.

Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra met with representatives from Signifi Solutions, an Ontario company that designs and manufactures automated kiosks for use in retail settings and that has leveraged both the CanExport SMEs program and the Trade Commissioner Service to expand into a number of markets abroad. CanExport funding for SMEs in Ontario totals $13.4 million and supports 469 projects across the province.

The CanExport expansion is a key component of New Markets, New Customers, New Jobs: Canada’s Trade Diversification Strategy, an investment of $1.1 billion over six years to help Canadian companies succeed. With these investments, the government continues to make Canada the most well-connected trading economy worldwide, while creating more jobs at home.

“Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises are wealth and job creators supporting the middle class and those working hard to join it. The investments we are making today will further support Canadian businesses by connecting people, ideas and products to customers around the world.”

– Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification

“The CanExport programs created confidence for Signifi to expand abroad in targeted countries, resulting in a 50% growth in sales and increasing employee count by 17. The trade commissioners have also been instrumental in introducing in-country contacts to facilitate expansion.”

– Shamira Jaffer, CEO, Signifi

Quick facts

  • The 2018 Fall Economic Statement announced investments of $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 SMEs program has supported more than 1,200 Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises with 1,600 projects to expand their markets and increase export activities in more than 110 markets around the world.

  • The 2018 Fall Economic Statement announced investments of $290 million over five years to help Canadian businesses export and grow and to strengthen the Trade Commissioner Service and enhance the support it provides to Canadian exporters.

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