Market Access Tour to gauge interest in international export markets
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 06:00 am
Local and regional businesses may have the ability to compete in international markets, they just need to know about it, says Joan Barber, marketing and research manager with St. Albert Economic Development.
The opportunity to learn how to access and export into these markets will be provided at St. Albert’s first Market Access Tour. The city and the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the event on Sept. 16 at the St. Albert Inn and Suites.
“What we are really hoping that transpires is that businesses will come to the seminar, that they will find out whether or not exporting is an option for them,” Barber said. “And we do believe that there are businesses within St. Albert that will realize that they can enter into the export markets.”
Barber said the feature presentation will be made by International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas. Businesses from St. Albert and surrounding municipalities are invited to learn about key markets, strategies and opportunities, she said, and services already available to help them get started in the export markets. Following the presentation, Dallas and city staff members will be available to businesses to answer questions and have one-on-one meetings.
Barber said the tour ties into a recent $100,000 regional collaboration grant application to get the proposed Capital Region Export Development Alliance (CREEDA) started.
The Alliance aims to grow exports for regional businesses by providing them with access to knowledge and helping them get established in international markets. Barber said the tour will not only test interest into export markets in the regional business community but also help to get the word out.
“If we had 15 to 20 businesses that came out, learnt about exporting, it’s a really good start for us,” she said. “Those businesses can then be advocates for the rest of the business community going forward.”
A recent market study by the city shows that out of 570 St. Albert businesses listed in the top 12 exporting industries in the Capital Region, only 26 are exporting. The top 12 industries encompass everything from the wholesale sector, to the business services sector and electrical contractors.
Altogether, only 42 local businesses are exporting, with the predominant exporting lines being computer and business services, followed by industrial machinery and trucking.
Barber said that economic development may consider working with local businesses on their ability to export with or without the grant but will wait for news on its approval first. Until then, she hopes that many local and regional businesses will come out for the event.
“We haven’t identified one particular sector that we would put most of our efforts into. It’s really dependent on getting the regional collaboration grant,” she said. “If we get that then of course it is full speed ahead and that’s when the more in-depth research would be done.”
The Market Access Tour will be held on Sept. 16 from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. at the St. Albert Inn and Suites, 156 St. Albert Trail. Admission fees are $20 and registration ends on Sept. 13. Further details are available at www.cultivatebusiness.ca.