September 3, 2013 2:04 pm

Feds commit funds to STEP to bolster western exports

Michelle Rempel, minister of state for Western Economic Diversification, announces $1.12 in funding to the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership in Saskatoon on Sept. 3, 2013.

Brent McGillvray / Global News

SASKATOON – The federal government is investing more money to help bolster exports from western Canada.

The government announced in Saskatoon on Tuesday it would give funding to the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) to help raise the profile of companies at international trade shows and export missions.

“Western Canada has the natural resources, agricultural commodities and technological expertise to thrive in a trade-driven global economy,” said Michelle Rempel, minister of state for Western Economic Diversification, in a release.

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“By expanding the reach of Canadian technology innovations and value-added products, we’re building a strong, diverse economy and creating long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”

STEP will work with its provincial partners to help participating companies enter the international marketplace.

“STEP recognizes the need to carry the Canadian flag and this agreement allows both Saskatchewan and our sister provinces to do so in an effective and cohesive manner,” said STEP President and CEO Lionel LaBelle.

“Today’s announcement will provide further opportunities for STEP members to participate in international trade shows where they can market their goods and services to the world.”

STEP will receive just over $1.12 million over the next two years to coordinate participation of companies at trade shows and conferences in Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and the United States.

Exports to those markets were identified as having the best potential for growth while offering the greatest opportunity to maximize economic returns.

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