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Minister Carr highlights new export opportunities for Indigenous businesses at Ottawa’s thePANEL event

Press Release

May 13, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is determined to ensure that the economic benefits that flow from trade and investment are widely shared with women, youth, Indigenous peoples and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, was in Ottawa, Ontario, to participate in a round-table discussion on global opportunities for Indigenous businesses hosted by the non-profit organization thePANEL.

Focusing on Indigenous trade, this event was an opportunity for the Minister to talk about the full range of programs and services under Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The strategy is opening more markets on terms that benefit more people and is engaging people from traditionally marginalized groups such as Indigenous Peoples in trade activities. This is important because trade generates wealth, so including more diverse groups of people in trade activities creates more wealth for more people.

Minister Carr also highlighted Canada’s commitment to strengthen Indigenous-to-Indigenous partnerships around the globe, notably through inclusive trade missions, such as the upcoming Indigenous business delegation to Texas and Oklahoma from May 30 to June 4, 2019.


“Indigenous businesses are growing at a faster rate than other businesses in Canada and are more than twice as likely as all small businesses to export. By providing new tools and resources for Indigenous entrepreneurs to compete and succeed internationally, our trade diversification strategy aims to reinforce this trend over the coming years.”

– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • Through its trade diversification strategy, the government will invest $1.1 billion over six years to help Canadian businesses grow and diversify their exports.
  • The 2018 Fall Economic Statement invested $100 million over six years to reinforce the CanExport program and related funding programs so that more Canadian businesses can explore new foreign markets.
  • Recent changes to the eligibility criteria of the CanExport program will allow for more Indigenous-owned companies to benefit.
  • In October 2018, Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, led the first-ever Indigenous trade mission to the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) in New Zealand.
  • Canada will host this year’s edition of the WIBF in Vancouver, British Columbia, from October 8 to 10, 2019.

Associated links


Isabella Brisson-Urdaneta
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada



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