Accessing market opportunities within Canada and around the world allows Alberta businesses and investors to grow and increase their competitiveness, supports jobs for Albertans, and helps diversify the provincial economy.
Alberta has established access to Canadian and foreign markets through trade agreements with other governments. These agreements establish a framework for balanced and fair trade rules. Such rules ensure open and non-discriminatory treatment that protects Albertans, the province’s businesses and its investors in markets outside Alberta.
Domestic trade agreements
Within Canada, Alberta is a party to the:
Through these agreements, Alberta seeks to enhance access to markets for Alberta goods, services, suppliers, workers, investors and investments across the West and across the country.
New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA)
The NWPTA, which came into effect in 2010, is a trade agreement between the Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The NWPTA:
- establishes Canada’s largest interprovincial, barrier-free marketplace
- creates a framework for cooperation to bolster the economy of western Canada
- represents an economic powerhouse of more than 11 million people with a combined GDP of over $720 billion
The NWPTA provides a comprehensive framework to enhance trade, investment and labour mobility within the four western provinces.
NWPTA Fact Sheet (PDF, 146 KB)
Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)
The CFTA came into effect on July 1, 2017. The CFTA is an agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments that seeks to eliminate trade barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada. Building upon its predecessor, the Agreement on Internal Trade, the CFTA establishes a comprehensive and modern framework for internal trade in Canada. The CFTA provides a clear set of trade rules that will make it easier for Alberta businesses to access opportunities from coast to coast to coast.
Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)
The AIT was signed in 1994, by the federal, provincial and territorial governments (except Nunavut), and came into effect in 1995. The AIT was the first pan-Canadian agreement that sought to eliminate barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada.
As of July 1, 2017, the AIT has been replaced by the CFTA and is no longer in effect. However, for trade disputes initiated before July 1, 2017 and for procurements commenced prior to July 1, 2017, the AIT rules will continue to apply until these processes are concluded.
International trade agreements
The federal government is responsible for the negotiation of Canada's international trade agreements. The Alberta government advocates for provincial interests when the federal government is negotiating those international agreements, particularly in areas of provincial jurisdiction or where there is a significant economic impact on the province. Examples of Canada’s international trade agreements that impact Alberta are listed below.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC)
- North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC)
- Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement – expired October 12, 2015
- The Canada-U.S. Consultative Committee on Agriculture (CCA) Terms of Reference
- Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
- Canada-European Union Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)
- Canada-EU Joint Political Declaration and Action Plan
- Agreement on Mutual Recognition between the European Community and Canada
- Agreement on Mutual Recognition in Relation to Conformity Assessment between Canada and Switzerland
- Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA)
- Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA)
- Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC)
- Canada-Chile Agreement on Labour Cooperation (CCALC)
- Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement
- Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement
For feedback and general enquiries on the Government of Alberta’s role in these domestic and international trade agreements, please contact the Trade Policy office.
Registering an Alberta business in western Canada
To register an Alberta business or organization in British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, contact Corporate Registries in Service Alberta.
For information about procurement by the Government of Alberta, contact Procurement Services in Service Alberta.
For more information on the procurement obligations of domestic and international trade agreements, view the guidelines.
Getting Alberta credentials recognized in other provinces
Certified Alberta workers can get their credentials recognized in other provinces in Canada. For more information see Labour mobility in Canada.