Goal 1: Increasing mutual economic opportunity
Latin America and the Caribbean is an economically dynamic region that has experienced significant economic growth in the last decade. Increasing commercial and investment ties with the region is supporting and enhancing prosperity and sustainable growth in the Americas. Sustainable investment and trade are creating opportunities to improve people’s lives.
To build on momentum towards our goal of increasing economic opportunities, Canada is:
- Strengthening trade and investment especially with Brazil and our Free Trade Agreement partners (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru);
- Expanding and promoting our network of trade and economic agreements;
- Encouraging opportunities for Canadian participation in public-private partnerships and with international and regional banks;
- Leveraging Canada’s development assistance to advance sustainable economic growth; and,
- Sharing Canadian expertise towards supporting responsible and sustainable natural resource management.
Since Prime Minister Harper announced in 2007 that the Americas would be a top foreign policy priority, the economic relationship between Canada and the region has steadily grown stronger and our engagement has deepened. Canada has brought into force more free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries in the Americas than anywhere else in the world (seven out of eleven), with the most recent agreement in the Americas – the Canada-Honduras FTA – which entered into force on October 1, 2014.
Between 2007 and 2013, total trade between Canada and Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 34%. Canada has signed new or expanded bilateral Air Transport Agreements with 18 partners in the region since 2006, when Canada's Blue Sky Policy was introduced. Canada now has air transport agreements with 33 countries in the Americas.
Our increased focus has yielded strong results. We have:
Supported climate change initiatives that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that help countries adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Supported the environmentally responsible construction of the new Quito International Airport through the Government of Canada’s international contracting agency, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, and its export credit agency, Export Development Canada. The new world-class facility was launched in February 2013.
Provided development assistance to strengthen the capacity of municipalities to provide safe drinking water and effective sanitation services;
Assisted small producer cooperatives in maximizing the benefits of a free trade agreement with Canada through the Canada-Americas Trade-Related Technical Assistance (CATRTA) project.
Helped improve the governance of the oil and gas sector, through a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and the Regional Association of Oil and Natural Gas Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL).
Helped the Government of Bolivia increase its revenues from the hydrocarbon sector from US $1.4 billion to US $4.2 billion between 2006 and 2012.
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