New trade commissioner aims to drum up business

Glacier FarmMedia Special Report: Efficient transportation adds value 
to Canada’s trade

Our March 31, 2016 issue marks the third and final instalment in a series of Special Reports prepared by Glacier FarmMedia reporters on how the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe will affect Canadian food producers and processors.

Investing in bricks and mortar isn’t the only way Canada’s ports are preparing for growing global trade.

A trade commissioner has been embedded with the port authority in Halifax since September as a part of a pilot project, Wendy Zatylny, president of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities said. He works with Canada’s ports and port communities to get Canadian businesses export ready. He also helps bring in import business, she added.

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Zatylny said efficiency through the transportation system adds as much value to Canada’s trade agenda as the goods and services that are imported and exported. For example, a Canadian lobster loses value if it takes three months to get to Japan.

Canadian ports and supply chain members have met to figure out where they could smooth out “speed bumps” in the system. Zatylny also approached the federal Foreign Affairs Department to see if it could walk trade commissioners through the Canadian port system and its advantages.

The department already embedded trade commissioners with trade associations to help businesses become export ready, and Zatylny and department officials decided to do something similar with ports.

The pilot project will help ports organize or join trade delegations.

“They have a big role in facilitating export development,” she said.

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