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Minister Costello leads three-day trade mission to Canada

Trade, Press Releases, North America, 2013

Enterprise Ireland trade mission targets Canada’s natural resources industry  

Joe Costello TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, leads three-day trade mission of 15 Irish companies to Calgary and Edmonton

The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, travels to Alberta, Canada today (Monday 10 June) on an Enterprise Ireland trade mission targeting Canada’s natural resources (oil and gas) industry organised with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland to Canada.

A total of 15 companies are travelling with the Minister from the Engineering, Construction, Technology and Recruitment sectors. The objectives of the trade mission are to build on the strong trade links between Ireland and Canada, and promote the capabilities of Irish companies to the natural resources industry in Alberta.

Canada has the third largest known oil reserves in the world and is currently the sixth largest global oil producer. Aggregated numbers indicate that Canada is on track towards production of over five million barrels of oil per day by 2022 which would move the country from the world’s sixth largest producer to the fourth largest.  To achieve these numbers over the next 10 years, owners will be investing significantly in capital projects – presenting major opportunities for innovative companies servicing all aspects of the sector.

Speaking before his departure Minister Costello said:
‘Canada’s natural resources industry presents compelling growth opportunities for Irish companies who can provide a solutions-based approach to an area of need.  This trade mission is about helping Irish companies tap into this potential by building on existing trade links and opening new doors for collaborative business ventures.

‘Our trade relationship with Canada, which is a priority market under the Government's Trade Strategy, is already very strong. We are confident that further growth and business successes will result from this trade mission.’

During the three-day visit to Calgary and Edmonton, organised in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland in Ottawa, Minister Costello will hold a series of high-level meetings with the Deputy Premier and Ministers of the Government of Alberta and senior officials on trade and economic cooperation, as well as business meetings with Irish companies and their Canadian partners and customers.

Brendan Flood, Divisional Manager with Enterprise Ireland, who is accompanying Minister Costello on the trade mission added:

Canada’s natural resources industry offers enormous potential for ambitious Irish companies to establish themselves and grow export sales.  The opportunities for export growth are in sectors where Enterprise Ireland’s client companies are strong performers. The 26% growth in exports to Canada by Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2012 clearly demonstrates that there are significant, tangible opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and Canadian companies.

The number of Enterprise Ireland Ministerial-led trade missions has more than doubled since 2011, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its Embassy network. Continuing to deliver an intensive programme of these missions as part of a drive to increase international trade and exports is a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2013.

For further information contact:

Press Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, +353 1-4082275/2550; +353 (0)87-7788835

Paula Chase, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland +353 1 7272842; +353 (0)87 9974207

Note for Editors:

Enterprise Ireland
is the Government agency responsible for the development and internationalisation of Irish enterprises. It’s main aim is to boost exports and export-led jobs. Enterprise Ireland has 31 offices worldwide, including one in Toronto, Canada to help Irish firms develop overseas markets.

Each year, Enterprise Ireland organises a series of targeted international trade missions, market visits, participation in international trade fairs and a large number of international buyer visits to Ireland focussed on assisting Irish firms target and secure international contracts and overseas partners. Here, Enterprise Ireland works directly with Irish firms to help them start up, develop their businesses, build competitiveness and innovate.

Canada is the world's 10th largest economy, with a population of 34 million spread across the second largest country in the world. A G8 economy, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $1.73 (CAD) trillion. The country's economy grew by 2.4% in 2011 and is expected to record an average growth rate of 2.3% during 2012-2017. The Canadian dollar has been roughly at parity with the US dollar for the past two years.

Outside of Europe, Canada is Ireland’s 3rd largest export market for Enterprise Ireland clients. Exports to Canada by Enterprise Ireland clients rose by 26% in 2012 to €214,853, following growth of 19% in 2011. Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to Toronto last November (2012) demonstrated the commitment by Irish and Canadian companies to do business together as contracts worth €8m were secured.

The oil and gas industry in Western Canada is growing and developing at a rapid rate.  Founded on the conventional model of drilling for light sweet crude, the industry became a hotbed for junior oil and gas companies starting business with a single well and growing into multi million dollar companies.  Estimates indicate that there are over 1000 oil companies headquartered in Alberta.  The majority of these companies are based in Calgary.  Currently, also 1.8 million barrels of oil from the oil sands are delivered to market per day. Production is projected to reach over 3 million barrels per day by 2020.

The Canadian oil sands are one of the three largest reserves of oil in the world, and currently boast over 170 billion barrels of oil in place which are recoverable with today’s technology and economic factors.  In the future this figure has the potential to double as new technologies are developed.  Aggregated numbers indicate that Canada is on track towards production of over five million barrels of oil per day by 2022 which would move the country from the world’s sixth largest producer to its fourth largest.  Over three million barrels of oil per day would be produced in Alberta.  In order to achieve these numbers over the next 10 years, owners will be investing significantly in capital projects.  Annual spending in the oil sands industry is projected to be between $10-25 billion annually in order to build and develop new projects to increase production. 

The oil sands in Canada are primarily located in three basins in Alberta, with some of the reserves extending into Saskatchewan.  Fort McMurray is the main service hub for most projects while Edmonton plays a major role in the manufacturing and distribution of the components required for oil sands production.  Calgary is the corporate centre for the industry which includes the project owners, engineering firms, and other professional services.