Minister Carr visits Prince Edward Island to promote benefits of trade and help local businesses tap into new global markets

August 14, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Trade diversification is about securing more opportunities for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and export to new markets, bringing wealth to Canadian communities and creating good middle-class jobs.

On August 13 and 14, 2019, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, travelled to Prince Edward Island to discuss how free trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), are making it easier for Canadian businesses from all sectors to find success in the global marketplace.

While in Charlottetown, Minister Carr met with stakeholders from the potato industry, including representatives from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, to discuss key issues and opportunities provided through Canada’s trade diversification strategy. He also sat down with representatives from Island Abbey Foods, the only company in the world making products with 100% pure solid honey. During a tour of COWS Creamery, Minister Carr met with company representatives to learn more about how this P.E.I. company produces ice cream and operates a chain of ice cream parlours across Canada while also serving up its iconic treat to customers abroad.

During his visit, Minister Carr also met with representatives from Amalgamated Dairies Limited, BioVectraMonaghan Farms, Prince Edward Aqua Farms and MacDougall Steel Erectors. The Minister discussed how these and other businesses can benefit from the expansion of the CanExport program, which encourages new export opportunities in overseas markets by providing direct financial assistance to Canadian SMEs.


“Canada is connecting Islanders, their ideas and their products to customers around the world. Our newly signed trade agreements with Europe and Asia-Pacific countries make Canada the most well-connected trading economy worldwide, and P.E.I is already seeing the benefits arising from them. We’re proud to support local economies, to help Islanders succeed in global markets and to be creating good jobs that help communities thrive.”

– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • Canadian companies now benefit from preferential market access to an estimated 1.5 billion consumers through 14 trade agreements with 51 countries, for a combined GDP of US$50 trillion.
  • In 2018, exports of parts for turbojets or turbo propellers from P.E.I. to the EU grew from $2.8 million to nearly $14.4 million, an increase of more than 400% since 2017.
  • In 2018, P.E.I. exported nearly $5.2 million worth of medical needles, catheters, cannulae or similar medical parts and accessories to the EU, whereas there were no exports of these products in 2017.
  • In the first six months since the CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018, P.E.I.’s fish and seafood exports to CPTPP markets (excluding Mexico) increased by 373% to nearly $5.3 million from $1.1 million over the same period in the previous year. This includes exports of lobster, mussels and other shellfish and crustaceans.
  • To date, the CanExport program has supported more than 1,400 Canadian SMEs with over 1,700 projects to expand their markets and increase their export activities in more than 110 markets around the world. Since 2016, CanExport has supported nine projects for P.E.I. companies, for total funding of over $243,000.
  • The Government of Canada and Atlantic provincial governments collaborate on a pan-Atlantic basis on targeted actions to stimulate the region’s economy through the Atlantic Growth Strategy.

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