Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Sub-program 1.1.1: Trade, Investment and Market Access

Sub-program Description

Trade, Investment and Market Access focuses on increasing Western Canada's participation in global markets, increasing awareness of Western Canada's technology capabilities abroad and attracting new foreign investment to support access to and participation in global value chains. It strives to strengthen trade-related infrastructure to enhance trade flows in and out of Western Canada and promotes Western Canada as an attractive destination for international tourists, students, researchers and investors. Transfer payments in support of this sub-program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
Planned Spending
Actual Spending
(actual minus planned)
 17,945,501  11,009,776  (6,935,725)

Note: Actual spending is less than planned spending amounts for 2013–14 due to projects in the developmental stage proceeding with a lower dollar value than expected.

Human Resources (FTEs)
(actual minus planned)
31 31 0


Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Capacity of western clients to pursue international business opportunities or attract international visitors Number of western SMEs and other organizations pursuing trade, investment, international R&D or tourism opportunity, as a result of global advisory and market access services 281 792
Capacity to support the flow of goods and services in/out of Western Canada $ value of improvements to trade infrastructure $0* $0
International awareness of trade, investment and tourism opportunities, and SME technology capabilities in Western Canada $ value of international business leads generated through missions, events and marketing initiatives $0* $1.5 million

* The targets for new performance indicators being introduced by WD for the first time in 2013–14 were set at zero because it was anticipated that projects will require more than one year to realize expected results.

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2013-14, WD introduced new performance indicators for the Trade, Investment and Market Access sub-program which were designed to better articulate the outcomes achieved by western small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in global markets as a result of WD's support. The targets for some of these new performance indicators were set at zero because it was anticipated that projects will require more than one year to realize expected results.

Although actual spending was $7 million less than planned due to some trade projects under development not materializing, WD met or exceeded its targets for all the Trade, Investment and Market Access related performance indicators for which reported outcomes were anticipated (see Performance Results table above). Overall, the variance is largely due to the fact that WD's projects tend to be multi-year in nature and results are sometimes reported earlier than expected or that some projects realised stronger results than forecasted by proponents. 

WD engaged with western stakeholders in the latter part of 2013-14 to better define the department's approach to Trade and Investment as a follow up to recommendations made in the December 2013 evaluation of Trade and Investment.[18]  In May 2014, the department launched a CFP to support investments in priority areas such as Trade and Investment, through the department's main funding vehicle, the WDP. This approach will assist WD to increase and diversify its client base as well as be more strategic in funding western Canadian initiatives in Trade and Investment.