Service Export Program Helps Nova Scotians Access International Markets

first_imgNova Scotia’s new Service Export Program is helping local companies close big sales overseas. The new program has helped five firms close deals worth $685,000, with additional sales of $840,000 expected in the coming months. The Office of Economic Development started the program with a contribution of $80,000. The program has been so successful that the province has agreed to spend an additional $150,000 this year and has budgeted $200,000 for 2006-07. Ernest Fage, Minister of Economic Development, says he expects more success stories as 71 firms report back from past sales trips. “Nova Scotians have lots of expertise to offer the world, particularly in the area of service export,” said Mr. Fage. “Our program helps defray costs so Nova Scotia firms can afford to travel and close the deals.” The Service Export Program was established in February as part of the province’s provincial trade strategy — Going Global, Staying Local. The program provides up to $5,000 to individual firms for travel outside the Maritimes for specific marketing initiatives. EastCan Geomatics Consulting Ltd. — a Halifax-based company that provides digital mapping, cartographic and geographic information system (GIS) services — received funding for travel to Puerto Rico to meet with government officials about continuing efforts to modernize that country’s property taxation system. EastCan won the contract. “With the help of the province’s service export program, we were able to travel to Puerto Rico, meet with the client and submit a winning proposal,” said Albert Shamess, chief operating officer of EastCan Geomatics. “Getting face-to-face with our clients allowed us to really focus on our capabilities in leading-edge information technology to solve their problems.” Anyone exporting a service can apply to the program, including those involved in the performing arts, media, consulting, information technology, engineering and education. The Service Export Program is funded by the Office of Economic Development and administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. It covers 50 per cent of eligible travel expenses, including airfare and accommodation. Costs for marketing materials that are related to a specific sales opportunity are also covered. Nova Scotia’s service export industry is valued at $2 billion per year. To find out more about export development and the service export program, see the province’s website at .last_img read more