“Grow Export” Reports Success in Round One, Recruiting for Round Two

Federal-Provincial Program Participants in PEI Explore Export Opportunities

Early in 2016, a dozen Island companies signed on for Grow Export, a new program designed to help PEI-based companies explore their export potential and learn more about the world of exporting their products and services to foreign markets. The first round of the program, which is offered by Trade Team PEI, was a resounding success and recruitment is now underway for round two.

Chris VanHorn of Airbly, a company based in Argyle Shore, PE that manufactures flight data recorders for small aircraft, reports that his company has benefitted from the program and will start shipping products to the United States later this month. And even though his company is already closing international deals for its modular wastewater treatment systems, Dr. Patrick Kiely, CEO of Island Water Technologies Inc. (IWT) based in Montague, PE, is keen to sign on to the program to learn even more about export markets and build export capacity among the IWT team.
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Honourable Heath MacDonald, PEI Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today joined Mr. VanHorn and Dr. Kiely to discuss the results of the initial Grow Export offering and encourage more companies to sign on for the next round of the program, which is now accepting applications. The second round of Grow Export is scheduled to begin in September 2016.

Trade Team PEI is a collaborative undertaking of ACOA and the Government of PEI with a mandate to promote export trade through a variety of means, including training and mentoring, and supporting trade missions to foreign markets. The Grow Export program is being supported with a $97,500 investment from ACOA’s Business Development Program and $32,500 from the Province of Prince Edward Island. All of the 12 companies that participated in the first round are now exporting or preparing to begin exporting to foreign markets.

This initiative builds on the federal and provincial commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through trade and investment, as announced on July 4, 2016, in Prince Edward Island as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy.


“Exporting creates jobs and wealth here at home, and is an important part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a pan-Atlantic approach to strengthening our economy by collaborating on key priorities. It is my hope that more and more Island companies will take the time to explore their own export potential by participating in this program.”

•    The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“The Grow Export program will help to enhance the competitiveness of Prince Edward Island businesses in an increasingly global marketplace. Our government is committed to strengthening the provincial economy by supporting small and medium sized businesses and encouraging them to export their products and services around the world. I commend the island companies who have already participated in the program and look forward to seeing its continued success in the next round.”

•    The Honourable Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

“We attended the Grow Export program this spring. We expect that over 90% of Airbly's customers will be outside of Canada and we had little to no knowledge about what is required to deliver a product internationally. Grow Export taught us which aspects of exporting and importing we need to be aware of to get our product to market in a foreign country. We are now taking orders and will begin shipping our product to the United States at the end of August. I recommend the program to any company that is or will be exporting their physical products outside of Canada. It is not as simple as slapping a shipping label onto a box.”

•    Mr. Chris VanHorn, Airbly Inc.

“The Grow Export program has arrived just at the right time for our company. We have only just recently secured our first major international project and are eager to up-skill our team on how better to deliver our solutions to an international market.”

•    Dr. Patrick Kiely, Island Water Technologies Inc.

Media contact:
Lucas MacArthur
Economic Development and Tourism

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