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February 2014 Issue

Increasing Market Access: Trading Globally and Growing Locally

Visitors to Agritechnica 2013 stop in at the Canada Pavilion, where they viewed Canadian-made equipment and talked business with western Canadian SMEs. WD provided funding towards coordinating Western Canada's mission at the trade show.
Visitors to Agritechnica 2013 stop in at the Canada Pavilion, where they viewed Canadian-made equipment and talked business with western Canadian SMEs. WD provided funding towards coordinating Western Canada's mission at the trade show.

With more than 30 percent of Western Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 linked to the exports of goods and services to other countries, our Government recognizes the importance of expanding market access for Canadians.

While the bulk of western Canadian exports may find their way into U.S. markets, there are tremendous opportunities for western companies in emerging markets. Growing trade corridors, transportation hubs, and logistics services allows for trade to flow freely, which encourages investment and market access.

At Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), our Trade and Investment efforts have focused on:

  • Helping western Canadian companies build capacity to engage in international business and increase their penetration in international markets.
  • Supporting trade corridor improvements to strengthen access to international markets and increase the efficient flow of goods and services into and out of Western Canada.
  • Raising awareness of Western Canada’s key sectors, strengths and capabilities to international players – in both traditional and emerging markets – to promote trade and international partnerships, as well as attract foreign investment to the region.

In 2014, as new opportunities develop, WD will be there to help western Canadian companies enter and expand into international markets.

Connecting Western Canadian Businesses with International Opportunities

Mike Dahlseide, with Morris Industries, discusses Morris equipment with Agritechnica 2013 attendees in Hanover, Germany.
Mike Dahlseide, with Morris Industries, discusses Morris equipment with Agritechnica 2013 attendees in Hanover, Germany.

WD has worked to support opportunities for western Canadian companies to increase their participation and profile at international tradeshows. By doing so, we are helping Canadian companies connect with new business opportunities.

In November 2013, WD invested $630,210 towards coordinating Western Canada’s mission at Agritechnica 2013 and securing prime floor space. Agritechnica, with 450,000 visitors from 47 countries, is the world’s leading exhibition for agricultural machinery and equipment and represents a tremendous business opportunity Western Canadian SMEs working in the agriculture sector.

Cultivating new export markets for western Canadian manufacturers creates jobs and greater economic prosperity for all Canadians,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “By creating a strong presence at Agritechnica, western Canadian agricultural manufacturing and technology has attracted international business and interest.

At the Seeding and Tillage pavilion alone, the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) estimates a total of 575 contacts and 388 trade leads were developed by companies and associations from Canada's Prairie Provinces with 35 unique countries. Manitoba Trade and Investment (MTI) projects sales of close to $100 million over the next two years for its contingent of 20 Manitoba based companies.

In the case of Agritechnica, success is easy to measure,” said Rob Ziola, Sr. Director, Mfg. for STEP. “Companies from our region continue to expand their presence with more products, more manpower and more resources. It’s an expensive event to be at. If they weren’t generating business as a result, they wouldn’t continue to grow their investment levels into this exposition. That speaks volumes in my opinion.

Plans are being made to return to Hanover, Germany for the next Agritectnica show in 2015. STEP is also considering a trip to AgroSalon 2014 in Moscow, Russia to follow up on November’s success in Germany.

With this type of international exposure, Western Canada's SMEs can grow, compete and succeed in a global market.