Year concludes with a productive third round of Canada-India free trade talks in Delhi and the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization
(No. 394 - December 27, 2011 - 9:30 a.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today marked the progress made in 2011 to bring more jobs and prosperity to hard-working Canadians by deepening Canada’s trading relationships around the world.
The top accomplishments of 2011 highlighted by the Minister included:
“Jobs and economic growth to benefit Canadian businesses, workers and their families continues to be our government’s top priority,” said Minister Fast. “With one in five Canadian jobs linked to trade, deepening Canada’s trading relationships in priority markets around the world is key to protecting and strengthening the financial security of hard-working Canadians.”
This highlighting of the progress made in 2011 on the government’s pro-trade plan for jobs and growth follows the Minister’s visit to Europe, where he met with German and French business leaders and lawmakers to promote the two-way benefits of a Canada-EU trade agreement under negotiation, and attended the eighth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization, where Canada helped to build support for an anti-protectionist pledge adopted by 23 WTO members, and underscored Canada’s continued commitment to an effective, rules-based multilateral trading system.
“Canada remains a strong and active supporter of the multilateral trading system. We are working to ensure that the credibility and effectiveness of the WTO system is safeguarded,” said Minister Fast. “In these uncertain economic times, protectionism is poisonous to our efforts to create jobs and economic growth. Simply put, there is no better job creator than free and open trade.”
On free trade negotiations currently under way in priority markets around the world, Minister Fast expressed optimism with the progress being made toward a Canada-India trade agreement. The third round of negotiations was held December 13-16, 2011, in Delhi.
“As agreed with my counterpart, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, during my recent trade mission to India, our countries are committed to an ambitious schedule for negotiations,” said Minister Fast. “Discussions are advancing, and Canada is aiming to conclude negotiations in 2013, and unlocking the benefits of free trade for Canadian businesses, workers and families.”
In less than six years, Canada has concluded new free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Peru, the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and most recently with Honduras.
For more information on the Minister’s visit, please consult Minister Fast Visits Europe and Attends WTO Conference.
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A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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The Government of Canada’s job-creating, pro-trade plan is outlined in its Global Commerce Strategy. The Strategy sets out the government’s trade, investment and innovation priorities to open new markets and create opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers.
In 2011, Canada has advanced its pro-trade plan on a number of fronts: