Connecting Canadian businesses to international markets boosts exports and creates jobs and opportunities

August 22, 2014 – Summerside, Prince Edward Island – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today met with business and municipal leaders to announce federal government support for Prince Edward Island and to highlight the many benefits the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to businesses and workers in the province.

Minister Fast visited Confederation Cove Mussels Co. Ltd. and was joined by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on a visit to Royal Star Foods Ltd., representatives of which accompanied Minister Fast on a trade mission to the Seafood Expo Global 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. Prince Edward Island’s world-renowned fish and seafood industry, which employs 3,000 Islanders, will benefit under the Canada-EU agreement. The industry will see current tariffs, some as high as 25 percent, completely eliminated.

Ministers Fast and Shea also visited Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic, where Minister Fast announced that the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) will receive up to $87,000 from the Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program to support Canada’s aerospace sector success in markets abroad.

AIAC will use the funding for an aerospace business development visit to South Korea and to attend the Aero India exhibition taking place in Bangalore, India, next February. These are just two of the many projects that GOA will help fund.

Ministers Fast and Shea announced that the City of Summerside will receive up to $26,000, and the City of Charlottetown up to $9,000, from the federal government’s Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program to help attract foreign direct investment to P.E.I. and create local jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of $17 trillion. It is also the world’s largest importer of fish and seafood, with a global import market averaging $25 billion annually.
  • On the first day the Canada-EU trade agreement comes into force, almost 96 percent of EU tariff lines for fish and seafood will be duty-free. This includes lobster, currently subject to a rate of 20 percent, and mussels, subject to rates of up to 20 percent.
  • P.E.I.’s fish and seafood exports to the EU were worth an annual average of $14.7 million between 2011 and 2013 and ranked as the province’s second-most valuable export to the EU.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is Canada’s first in Asia and will serve as a gateway to new markets for Canadian businesses and workers.
  • Under the agreement, all South Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products will be eliminated. Nearly 70 percent of fish and seafood product tariff lines will be duty-free within five years of the agreement coming into force. For example, South Korean tariffs on lobster, currently at 20 percent, will be eliminated.
  • The Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program is contributing up to $3 million this year to 37 industry associations across Canada to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in markets around the world.
  • A priority sector under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), Canada’s aerospace industry employs more than 35,000 Canadians and realized more than $12-billion worth of exports in 2013.


“The Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will provide greater market access for Prince Edward Island’s world-famous fish and seafood industry by eliminating all tariffs on its key exports. This will generate massive benefits and create jobs for the fish and seafood sector, a key driver of P.E.I.’s economy.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“The benefits of the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will boost our Island economy for years to come. Island businesses like Royal Star Foods, Confederation Cove Mussels and Vector Aerospace, to mention a few, now have greater opportunities in international markets, which in turn improves exports and creates jobs at home.”

– Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont

“Direct foreign investment is a significant opportunity for the city of Summerside. Our participation in the Government of Canada’s Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program is allowing us to develop projects focused on making local investment opportunities more accessible and attractive to foreign investors. These initiatives are key components of our city’s economic development strategy.”

– Basil Stewart, Mayor of Summerside

“Charlottetown has been recognized as a top location for business, and many companies that operate globally have chosen Charlottetown as their home. Our partnership with the federal government through the Invest Canada Community Initiatives is an excellent opportunity to showcase our advantages to foreign investors and advance our profile to a broader audience.”

– Clifford Lee, Mayor of Charlottetown

“I am pleased to have Minister of International Trade Ed Fast at Confederation Cove Mussel to highlight the benefits and opportunities that the Canada-European Union trade agreement will present for Island seafood.”

– Stephen Stewart, President, Confederation Cove Mussel Co. Ltd.

“With over 500 million people in Europe, the Canada-European Union trade agreement ‎will increase potential trade for P.E.I. seafood products. Royal Star is in a great position to take advantage of this new tariff-free‎ access to Europe.”

– Francis Morrissey, General Manager, Royal Star Foods

“We are very pleased with this free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea. In our overall business expansion plan, the Asia-Pacific market is extremely important to us, due to its geographic location and strong projected growth and our customer base. We have been taking steps to expand our presence there, with close proximity to our customers, with the purchase of a facility in Brisbane, Australia, two years ago; the construction of our new Greenfield operation in Singapore, scheduled to open later this year; and an increase in incremental sales resources throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

– Jeff Poirier, President of Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic

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Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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