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For Immediate Release
April 23, 2019

VANCOUVER, B.C. — World Trade Centre Vancouver is excited to announce that the Government of Canada has pledged $1.5 million in support of its Trade Accelerator Program.

The funding was announced in Vancouver this afternoon by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion for the Government of Canada, as part of the federal government’s overall strategy to increase exports and provide support for Canadian businesses looking to tap into new international markets for their products and services.

“Our global brand is strong once again and the world wants — and needs — more Canada. Today’s investment in the World Trade Centre Vancouver’s Trade Accelerator Program will help over 700 B.C. businesses export to 1.5 billion customers made available through Canada’s many trade agreements. Our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is delivering on our commitment to help small- and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up and access new markets,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.

“We thank Minister Ng and the Government of Canada for this crucial financial support, which will enable us to build on the recent success of our Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) and help hundreds of additional companies grow,” said Austin Nairn, Executive Director of World Trade Centre Vancouver. “One in five British Columbian jobs is tied to exporting, and there exists a direct linkage between exporting, job creation, and increased productivity. By investing in programs such as TAP, businesses in our region and across the province will benefit."

The Trade Accelerator Program provides essential strategy, resources, and mentorship to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up, develop, and activate an export plan. The program operates across the country, with World Trade Centre Vancouver delivering the program here in B.C. since 2017, thanks in large part to a $2.5-million partnership with the Government of British Columbia announced in April 2017.

“Export activity directly benefits communities across B.C., creating jobs for people around our province,” said the Honourable Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “This federal investment of $1.5 million into the Trade Accelerator Program, which the province supports in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, will go a long way to keep helping small businesses and entrepreneurs get their goods and services to global markets.”

To date, World Trade Centre Vancouver has hosted nine cohorts in four cities across British Columbia, with 140 companies completing the program. Companies that have graduated from the program have reported revenue growth of 14 per cent and export sales growth of 28 per cent. In addition, nearly three-quarters of these companies have hired new employees, amounting to 125 new employees or an average of 2.8 per company.

“We have seen significant growth in our B2B since completing the Trade Accelerator Program 12 months ago,” said Patra de Silva, President of NHV Natural Pet Products. “The growth rate has been 35 per cent to date for B2B and an average growth rate of about 75 per cent overall. We have hired two new full-time employees and one new contractor. New markets we have entered since completing the Trade Accelerator Program include the U.K., Philippines, and Hong Kong. We have also added more wholesalers in Singapore and are in negotiations for a second distributor to China.”

For more information on the Trade Accelerator Program and its upcoming events around the province, visit tapbc.ca.

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About the World Trade Centre Vancouver:

World Trade Centre Vancouver is part of the World Trade Centers Association, a not-for-profit, non-partisan association dedicated to the establishment and effective operation of World Trade Centers as instruments for trade expansion. The World Trade Centers Association is an international ecosystem of global connections and integrated trade services made up of over 300 World Trade Center locations in nearly 100 countries, representing over 750,000 businesses globally.

About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

Media enquiries:

Greg Hoekstra
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5450 |

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