Innovation and collaboration are key to sustainable economic growth in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI)continued to draw upon these concepts in 2005-06. The province’s business development agency released its fourth annual report today, Oct. 31. In 2005-06, NSBI’s clients posted a record year for job creation with up to 5,000 jobs expected to be created and maintained over the next five years. Research In Motion’s (RIM) expansion alone is expected to create up to 1,200 of these jobs. “Collaboration requires a great deal of commitment and trust from all sides,” said Tom Stanfield, chair of NSBI’s board. “Nova Scotians prove day in and day out that collaboration works and it’s the reason why we continue to build on our tremendous growth in 2005-06.” The annual report spans the fiscal year from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006 and highlights several accomplishments: NSBI’s business advisory team worked with businesses, owners and managers across the province to assess opportunities and support growth. During 2005-06, they carried out more than 800 face-to-face meetings with businesses in every region of the province, creating close to 400 qualified referrals to help these businesses grow. NSBI’s business development executives concluded 15 transactions with some of the world’s top companies in sectors like information technology and defence and aerospace. With the help of payroll rebate investments alone, up to 3,900 potential jobs are expected to be created and maintained. This would translate into a return on investment to the province of about 58 per cent. NSBI’s financial services team completed 12 transactions that made a significant impact on the economy and to Nova Scotians. In 2005-06, NSBI authorized a total of $8,045,000 to strengthen businesses in Nova Scotia’s foundation and technological industries. In 2005-06, NSBI’s export team arranged more than 1,300 selling or partnering meetings for 197 clients, all of whom reported new and further export market penetration. As a direct result, these companies had combined export sales totalling more than $54 million. “NSBI is proud of the accomplishments we have achieved in 2005-06,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “This past year, we adopted a team Nova Scotia approach by bringing together business and industry representatives, academics and senior government officials to secure many companies that expanded to the province.” “A forward-thinking attitude along with a lot of dedication are key to sustainable economic growth in the province,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Economic Development. “We all have a great part to play in creating an even stronger business case for Nova Scotia and making sure we celebrate many more successful years in the future.” Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business development agency, an organization that works with companies to provide business solutions. The private sector-led agency works to attract new business to the province and help those already in Nova Scotia expand through services such as export development and financing. For more information on the 2005-06 annual report see the website at www.novascotiabusiness.com/annualreport2006 .