FREDERICTON (GNB) – The governments of all four Atlantic provinces, along with the federal government, have unveiled an updated Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy. They have also agreed to fund five more years of collaborative efforts to increase international trade and promote foreign investment in the region.

“In New Brunswick, we foster the right environment for companies to succeed, which, in turn, helps grow our economy,” said Arlene Dunn, who is the minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business, as well as minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Through the updated Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy, we will further build on a strong level of federal-provincial collaboration that has put New Brunswick solidly on the path to a more innovative, diverse and globally competitive economy.”

In support of the strategy’s efforts, the federal and provincial partners have agreed to invest a combined $20 million over the next five years. That funding, known as the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Agreement, will go toward activities aimed at increasing export capacities of small and medium-sized businesses; ecosystem development in support of exporting and investment attraction; and both short- and longer-term in-market initiatives.

During the first five years of the agreement, firms participating in agreement-supported activities reported export sales 2.7 times higher than firms exporting on their own.

“Renewing the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Agreement and other continuing efforts under the Atlantic Growth Strategy will help strengthen local communities and grow our economy,” said federal Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who is also minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Together, we are paving the way towards an ecosystem where Atlantic Canadian businesses can compete on the global stage, while creating wealth here at home. By forging partnerships, local firms will be in a better position to grow, innovate, attract top talent they need, diversify and expand to generate sustained economic growth.”

The federal government covers 70 per cent of this funding while the provincial governments pay the remaining 30 per cent.