The Cape Breton Partnership and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) have entered into a four-year partnership with the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN). This partnership is part of the Partnerships for Municipal Innovation: Local Economic Development (PMI-LED) program.

What is PMI-LED??

PMI-LED seeks to increase sustainable economic growth at the local level by strengthening the capacity of municipal governments in Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Coordinated by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and funded by Global Affairs Canada, PMI-LED partners work with international governments and their associations. All direct program costs, including travel, accommodations and meals for delegates, are covered by Global Affairs Canada. Participating municipalities and organizations, both in Canada and abroad, provide some in-kind contributions, including knowledge sharing and staff time.

Major Purposes:

  • The creation of an enabling environment to strengthen the capacity of local governments to plan a community-led economic vision, to offer effective economic development projects and services to their community and to influence and adopt Local Economic Development (LED) policies and practices that promote inclusive and sustainable economic development;
  • The adoption of inclusive local economic development practices by facilitating greater access for women and youth to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities; and
  • Promotion of trade and regional economic development opportunities at the local level, such as business attraction and retention/expansion, investment and trade and strengthening support for the development of micro and Small/Medium Enterprises (SME).

PMI-LED also creates a platform for local governments and their regional and global networks to better engage with strategic partners, and increase the engagement of Canadians in international municipal cooperation.

Over the course of this project, the Cape Breton Partnership and the UNSM will help the ACVN to strengthen its capacity to plan a community-led economic vision, to offer effective economic development projects and services to their communities, and to adopt policies and practices that promote inclusive and sustainable economic development. Specifically, they will be focused on institutional strengthening, training development, strategic planning, capacity building and policy development.

Objectives and Benefits of Partnership Participation:

The Cape Breton Partnership intends to achieve the following objectives through participation in the PMI-LED:

  • Improve our services locally by learning from others around the globe
  • Increase capacity on our team by improving our teamwork, problem solving, communication, and project management skills
  • Build a strong reputation for our community and our organization by being part of something greater than ourselves
  • Fostering trade for local businesses in our community by connecting with others on a global level
  • Encouraging community engagement by increasing cultural understanding, forging new friendships and strengthening our civic engagement

The Federation of Canadian Municipalties (FCM)

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal governments in Canada since 1901. The FCM is dedicated to improving the quality of life and sustainability of local communities by promoting strong, effective and accountable municipal government. Its members include more than 2,000 municipal governments, which represent over 90 per cent of Canada’s population, and 19 major provincial and territorial municipal associations. FCM has delivered international programs to support partnerships and exchanges between municipal governments in Canada and other countries since 1987.

The Cape Breton Partnership

The Cape Breton Partnership was formed with the idea of uniting business and communities across Cape Breton to drive the economy forward and has created an effective forum for private and public sector investors to come together with the common goals of: forging partnerships, capitalizing on opportunities and building a stronger Cape Breton.

The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network (CBREN)

The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network was established by the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Municipal Affairs, and encompasses Victoria, Richmond, and Inverness counties. It is overseen by a board of directors and is administered by the Cape Breton Partnership. Funding is provided by each of the three municipal units and the provincial government.
The network’s primary goals are to support the development and attraction of new businesses, and the retention and expansion of existing businesses.

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) has been the collective voice for municipal governments across the province since 1906. With 378 members comprised of mayors, wardens and councillors, UNSM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within provincial jurisdiction. Members include all 50 of Nova Scotia’s municipalities.

The Association of Cities in Vietnam

The Association of Cities in Vietnam is a voluntary social organization composed of cities and towns of Vietnam. Established in 2000, it operates both as a non-governmental organization, and as a social professional organization. It is the only organization of local governments in Vietnam and its mission is to provide a link between cities in Vietnam, and to act as a representative of cities as a whole.

The Counties of Inverness, Richmond, and Victoria

June 2017

– First Mission to Vietnam (Representatives from Cape Breton Partnership and UNSM)

November 2017

– Second Mission to Vietnam (Representatives from Cape Breton Partnership)

March 2018

– Third Mission to Vietnam (Representatives from UNSM)

May/June 2018

– First Mission to Cape Breton (Representatives from ACVN)

November 2018

– Possible fourth mission to Vietnam (Representatives from Cape Breton Partnership and UNSM)

June 2017

June 22 to 28, 2017


  • Carla Arsenault (Chief Operating Officer, Cape Breton Partnership)
  • Bruce Morrison (Warden, Municipality of Victoria County)
  • Perla MacLeod (Councillor, Municipality of Victoria County)
  • Brenda Chisolm-Beaton (Mayor, Town of Port Hawkesbury)
  • Kristin Marinacci (Manager, PMI-LED , Federation of Canadian Municipalities)

Focus of Mission

Attending a series of meetings, workshops, and discussions to lay the groundwork for the four-year partnership.


November 2017

November 6 to 15, 2017


  • Carla Arsenault (Chief Operating Officer, Cape Breton Partnership)
  • Jeremy Martell (CBREN Communications and Meeting Coordinator, Cape Breton Partnership)

Focus of Mission

Meeting with local representatives of the ACVN and the FCM in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi, and attending the 2017 Vietnam Urban Day/Forum and the ACVN Strategic Planning Workshop.



Please contact for questions:
Carla Arsenault
902-562-0122 (w)