The Atlantic Provinces cooperate on a range of trade promotion and trade cooperation events targeted to markets in which there are shared interests.
Atlantic Canada has a long history of regional cooperation in providing public services to their citizens while lessening duplication and reducing costs to taxpayers. A good example of reducing trade barriers between the provinces is the Atlantic Procurement Agreement - A Memorandum of Agreement on the Reduction of Interprovincial Trade Barriers. This agreement was originally signed in 1996, and revised in 2008.
The Atlantic Provinces Standard Terms and Conditions, Goods and Services, provides guidance for the provincial tendering systems, and is made available for use by the broader public sector.
Joint procurement is an important tool in seeking best value and efficiencies for their governments. The joint purchase of school buses is an excellent example of positive results achieved through joint procurement. Atlantic Canada currently saves $30,000 per bus purchased. In 2012, this arrangement resulted in $7 million in savings for the region. Building on previous successes in this area, ministers responsible for procurement are leading the development and implementation of a regional action plan on joint procurement that will increase efficiencies for governments and improve the capacity of Atlantic suppliers to participate in joint procurement opportunities.
The Atlantic Provinces are cooperating to increase the awareness, capacity and participation of Atlantic suppliers in selling their goods and services to governments. The Atlantic Provinces' annual reverse trade show — seminars and guides to selling to governments — promote this large market to large and small firms that can benefit from increasing sales to the public sector. A website has been developed to assist suppliers by providing them with information on regional events and links to procurement sites: http://atlanticsuppliers.ca/