Trade missions net Alberta over $500 million

News Release

Trade missions net Alberta over $500 million


The Alberta government’s international trade missions helped attract millions of dollars in new business and investment to the province this year.

Trade missions net Alberta over $500 million

Minister Bilous and stakeholders highlight the importance of international trade missions.

From April to November 2017, Economic Development and Trade led five ministerial missions and 49 business delegations with nearly 400 local companies.

“Alberta businesses are attracting international attention – and bringing home more than half a billion dollars from trade and investment this year. Showcasing Alberta businesses abroad means new economic opportunities in our province. That’s why we are increasing access to our trade offices, leading more trade missions and providing businesses funding to cover the upfront costs of breaking into new markets.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

While the missions will have additional impact in the new year, companies have reported at least $502,066,700 in actual trade and investment since April 2017, contributing to a dramatic increase in trade this year.

In the first ten months of 2017 Alberta exports were $82.7 billion, up from $63.1 billion during the same period last year. The 31 per cent increase accounted for 64 per cent of Canada’s entire trade increase during that time.

Alberta international missions included bringing hundreds of Alberta businesses to global industry trade shows where they met with hundreds more potential international buyers and investors, facilitating a variety of direct business-to-business meetings, supporting business owners as they gather market information in new countries, and government-to-government meetings to strengthen cooperation to increase trade.

Results included new product and service sales and contracts, increased market access through memoranda of understanding and sister-province relationships, business-to-business partnerships and agreements to collaborate.

“The Alberta mission to ADIPEC (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) gave General Magnetic a low-cost, high-impact market introduction that we could not have achieved on our own. Support with logistics, meetings and facilities were invaluable. We are already scheduled to return in January, a few short months later, to follow up on real opportunities.”

 Al Duerr, CEO of General Magnetic International Inc.

“This fall’s trade mission to the Gulf Cooperation Council region and ADIPEC opened many doors to our target market in the region. They introduced us to business opportunities that otherwise would have been missed. We would not have had the success achieved in this length of time without the well-planned support and insight of these highly informed, hard-working teams.”

Randy Hansen, Headwater Engineering

Trade missions are crucial to securing and increasing market access for Alberta companies by demonstrating the province’s commitment to enhancing existing international relationships, especially those with trade agreements. Ministerial visits support government-to-government relations which boost investor confidence in the province. Missions are also an opportunity to showcase Alberta in the international marketplace and highlight why it’s the best place to do business.

“These global missions have allowed EIA to enter new markets for passenger and cargo services as well as for the Alberta Aviation and Technology Centre. These missions offer meetings with key decision makers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East – and they also open doors for Alberta industry to generate investments that are creating jobs and driving economic diversification.”

Traci Bednard, Edmonton International Airport

“The value of trade missions goes beyond trade dollars attracted. A coordinated effort by government and industry to seek international trade deals demonstrates to the world that Alberta is open for business. This approach provides a high level of comfort to foreign investors that translates into marketplace confidence here at home. As an economic development agency, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association benefits greatly from these missions, enhancing our ability to connect government-to-government and show international executives that the Alberta government is aligned with industry in creating an attractive investment environment.”

Garret Matteotti, Alberta Industrial Heartland Association

Quick facts

  • Alberta businesses looking to expand to international markets can visit:


Mission to the United Kingdom, Germany and Ukraine

  • Met with British parliamentarians to acknowledge and maintain the strong relationship between Alberta and the U.K. throughout the Brexit process.
  • Signed the Alberta-Bavaria Memorandum of Understanding to support research and innovation collaboration.
  • Signed an MOU with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support projects that help Ukraine develop and strengthen its banking and energy sectors and energy security.
  • Renewed sister-province relationship MOUs with Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and Lviv Oblast in Ukraine.
  • Witnessed the signing of the partnership between the University of Alberta and the Fraunhofer Society to jointly develop and commercialize new energy technologies.
  • Raised the profile of the Alberta energy, cleantech and environmental sectors under the Canada­European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.

Mission to the United Arab Emirates

  • Five agreements signed between Alberta companies and local partners to gain market access into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. GCC member states include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Closure of $1.5 million in sales for Alberta companies.
  • Developed relationships through government-to-government interaction, resulting in more than $6 million requests for quotations in the GCC region.
  • Met and built relationships with government officials from the GCC region and Egypt.
  • Showcased Alberta expertise and technology in the energy sector to global industry leaders.

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