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% 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.