Our Priorities

Priorities for 2015-16

1. Contribute to economic prosperity with an emphasis on expanding and diversifying commercial relationships with emerging and high-growth markets.

  • Under the Global Markets Action Plan, increase the number of Canadian firms successfully doing business in priority markets, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, by negotiating and implementing trade and trade-related agreements, such as foreign investment promotion and protection agreements.
  • Support Canadian industry through implementation of International Education, Defence Procurement, and Extractive Sector strategies, expansion of international Science, Technology and Innovation partnerships, and promotion of Canada as an attractive commercial partner.
  • Advance the ratification and promotion of recently concluded trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  • Deepen commercial engagement in Latin America, Asia and Africa, with a focus on supporting Canadian investment abroad, and assist in improving investment climates in developing countries by building capacities to sustainably manage natural resources.

2. Expand Canada’s engagement in the hemisphere and reinforce the Canada-U.S. relationship.

  • Advance Canada’s interests for a more prosperous, equitable, secure and democratic hemisphere, under the Strategy for Engagement in the Americas, by enhancing Canada’s relationships with emerging groups and major partners such as the Pacific Alliance and Brazil.
  • Promote development and regional security, including through security system reforms, with a focus on the Caribbean, Haiti, Central America and Mexico.
  • Support innovation, foreign investment and global value chain penetration into the U.S. and Mexico, promote Canada’s interests in energy and energy technology, manage shared environmental resources with the U.S., and enhance Canada’s economic interests by effectively managing trade issues, including the promotion of Keystone XL and advocating against protectionist measures like Buy America.
  • Enhance co-operation with the U.S. and Mexico to foster a competitive and secure North American region, including by supporting the Canada-U.S. Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, and development of the Detroit River International Crossing.

3. Increase Canada’s economic and political engagement in Asia.

  • Expand targeted economic, security and governance partnerships in Asia, leverage international development results, and implement market action plans with key Asian markets, including China and India.
  • Advance economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region by advancing preferential trade agreements with new partners such as members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including Japan.
  • Strengthen the focus of Canada’s international development programming in Asia on private sector-led sustainable economic growth, including building capacity for trade and investment, and promote human rights and the rule of law.
  • Further develop Canada’s partnership with India, Southeast Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), seek membership in the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and promote Canada as a reliable supplier of energy and other resource industry exports.

4. Promote democracy and respect for human rights and contribute to effective global governance.

  • Provide leadership on human rights, including religious freedom, protect the rights of sexual minorities and pursue a robust agenda for advancing democracy and the rule of law.
  • Protect and empower women, children and youth in developing countries by addressing national protection frameworks, supporting access to education for all including children in conflict-affected areas, and working to end child, early and forced marriage and sexual violence within conflicts.
  • Continue to advance the Arctic Foreign Policy, including through Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council until April 2015 and afterward.
  • Advocate for strengthened effectiveness of global institutions.

5. Implement Canada’s development agenda to reduce global poverty and provide humanitarian assistance.

  • Negotiate an effective post-2015 Development Agenda that includes measurable goals reflecting the changing development landscape.
  • Lead global efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health and to secure a better future for children and youth.
  • Develop sustainable economic growth including by increasing the rule of law and democratic governance.
  • Work with an empowered civil society and non-traditional partners such as the private sector, including through innovative finance mechanisms, to find lasting solutions to poverty.
  • Harness Canadian expertise and resources in agriculture, nutrition and supply chains to increase food security and nutrition in developing countries.
  • Strengthen development accountability and transparency efforts globally and nationally.
  • Provide timely, effective and coordinated needs-based responses to humanitarian crises resulting from natural disasters, conflict and acute food insecurity.

6. Support international security and the safety of Canadians abroad.

  • Address international security challenges, including terrorism and transnational organized crime activities, human smuggling, space security, and threats posed by foreign fighters.
  • Reduce risks linked to the proliferation of conventional, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons, their related materials and means of delivery.
  • Partner with Israel to support freedom and security in the Middle East and support efforts to advance security and stability in conflict-affected regions and in states such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
  • Modernize the delivery of consular services to Canadians abroad, focusing attention on helping Canadians who need it most, offering assistance more efficiently, and better educating Canadians on how to make smart travel decisions with the goal of reducing consular issues before they arise.