Washington D.C. - The Team Canada Atlantic delegation met with senior officials with the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI), yesterday to discuss the importance of creating partnerships and strategic alliances to increase Atlantic Canada's export capacity. Close to 50 companies are participating in the inaugural Team Canada Atlantic trade mission to Washington which wraps up on November 6, 2003.
GWI is the regional economic development marketing organization that assists firms in expanding their businesses in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland.
Expanding trade relations is a key component of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's (ACOA) and our provincial partners economic development strategy, said the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of State for ACOA. This is why the Team Canada Atlantic delegation is in Washington. Our region's exports to the United States have grown 150 per cent since 1992 to $19.6 billion in 2002. Canada and the United States enjoy an economic partnership unique in the contemporary world. We share the world's largest and most comprehensive trading relationship, which supports more than two million jobs in each country.
The mission is focused on developing opportunities for enhanced export activity for Atlantic businesses in the areas of information and communications technology, biotechnology, agri-foods, consumer products, and building and construction.
Business relationships developed here today will translate into business partnerships that create jobs and strong economic growth, today and tomorrow, said Premier Hamm. Providing the opportunity for these relationships to develop is critical to Nova Scotia's continued economic strength.
The Washington mission is the eighth Team Canada Atlantic venture to the eastern seaboard of the United States. Since 1999, Team Canada Atlantic trade missions have resulted in more than $20 million in short-term sales and $80 million in long-term sales for participating Atlantic Canadian firms.
Team Canada Atlantic partners include: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA); Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade/Canadian Consulates; Agriculture and Agri-food Canada; Industry Canada; Team Canada; Business New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Industry, Trade and Rural Development; Nova Scotia Business Inc.; PEI Business Development Inc.; and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).