Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

February 24, 2012 15:26 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Export Development Program

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2012) - An export development program will help the Western Canada Farm Progress Show attract more international buyers to the show in 2012 and 2013 thanks to federal and provincial investments announced today. The initiative will increase exporting opportunities for western Canadian agriculture machinery manufacturers and raise the international profile of the show.

Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre Member of Parliament Tom Lukiwski, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Bill Hutchinson, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Enterprise announced a combined investment of $465,100 for the Incoming Buyers Program. The program reimburses half of the travel costs for first and second-time international buyers attending the show, up to a maximum of $1,500 per person.

"The Incoming Buyers Program brings businesses from around the world to Regina to develop opportunities that will create new jobs and economic growth for Canadians," said MP Lukiwski. "Today's announcement builds on the success of WD's investment in the previous Incoming Buyers Program and illustrates our Government's commitment to supporting Canadian firms as they pursue exporting opportunities in the global marketplace."

"Saskatchewan is proud to host and support the Farm Progress Show. It increases our manufacturing and export sales in farm equipment and boosts our tourism sector," said Minister Hutchinson. "The competition in farm equipment sales is very strong and this program will give us an edge with new buyers and help us expand our export markets and generate revenue that will produce jobs and product innovation."

The Farm Progress Show will hire a global business team to increase awareness of the show and the Incoming Buyers Program amongst international buyers and farm equipment distributors. Over the next two years, the number of buyers attending the show is expected to increase to 800 from 500. This growth will help increase awareness of western Canadian agricultural machinery and technology while seeing an increase in opportunities for export sales. Three hundred and eighty international buyers used the first Incoming Buyers Program, which ran from 2009 to 2011.

"With renewed support for the Incoming Buyers Program, we can recruit more buyers who are interested in searching out new suppliers for Canadian technology and equipment," says Rob O'Connor, Farm Progress Show manager. "The average transaction between local manufacturers with a new international buyer is $2.5 million of new business, which is very good return on our investment."

The Government of Canada is providing $232,550 to this project under the Western Diversification Program, while the Province of Saskatchewan is providing a matching $232,550 through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA).

The Farm Progress Show, which is managed by the Regina Exhibition Association Limited, was recognized in November 2011 as the largest trade show in Canada. It has been in operation for 35 years.

The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are contributing $25 million each, over four years, to the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in western Canadian communities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada in partnership with the provinces, industry associations, and communities promotes the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.

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