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January 17, 2013

Ontario government commited to creating trade opportunities, gives small and medium-sized businesses a boost

The Ontario government is moving ahead with two recommendations from the recently created Jobs and Prosperity Council to boost trade opportunities and to provide small and medium-sized businesses with new resources.

“To compete and win in the global economy, we need to help our businesses develop more internationally significant processes, target tradable sectors outside of our traditional markets and seize opportunities in emerging markets," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.

The government will create Global Exporter Forums to help Ontario companies gain access and expand into international markets where demand for exportable goods and services is rising. These forums will: improve export expertise for Ontario's small and medium-sized enterprises; build awareness of opportunities in emerging markets; increase the number of potential exporters; increase the number of exporters targeting new markets; and help expand and improve the export knowledge of Ontario's small and medium-sized enterprises.

The first Global Exporter Forum will highlight the Asia Pacific region, including markets in China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia.

The province will also pilot a Commercialization and Innovation Voucher to provide eligible small and medium enterprises with resources to work with research institutions to address challenges and improve their productivity, performance and competitiveness.

Last spring, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the formation of the Jobs and Prosperity Council, which is chaired by Gordon Nixon, the president and chief executive officer of the Royal Bank of Canada. The council will provide the province with advice on what actions are needed to become more competitive and seize opportunities in the new global economy.

On Dec. 19, 2012, the Council released its report, Advantage Ontario, identifying five key areas for action: going global; driving productivity growth; unleashing innovation and entrepreneurship; capitalizing on strength in talent; and delivering smart, efficient government.

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