Minister Cannon to Host Diplomatic Forum

(No. 314 - September 26, 2010 - 9:00 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will host Canada’s 13th annual Diplomatic Forum in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from September 26 to 29, 2010. The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, will also attend and address the forum.

Holding this year’s forum in Charlottetown will provide an opportunity to showcase and advance trade, investment and commercial opportunities in Canada, including in the Atlantic Gateway.

In his keynote speech on September 29, Minister Cannon will outline Canada’s foreign policy priorities and leadership initiatives on the international stage and address the global economic and financial situation.

“The year 2010 is an international year for Canada. Our government is pleased to co-host this year’s Diplomatic Forum with the Government of Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Cannon. “I look forward to discussing how Canada continues to take leadership on global issues.”

On September 27, Minister Van Loan will give a keynote speech at a luncheon sponsored by Export Development Canada, on the topic of Canada’s ambitious free trade and investment strategy.

“Our government is pursuing an aggressive free trade agenda to open new markets for Canadian businesses and workers,” said Minister Van Loan. “We are engaged in trade negotiations with key global markets, such as the European Union. Free trade with the European Union stands to boost Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually. This forum is a unique opportunity to outline these benefits as well as discuss the competitive advantages Canada offers as a trade and investment partner.”

In less than four years, the Harper government has opened new markets by concluding new free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Jordan and Panama and with the European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The government has also launched discussions on economic partnership with India, one of the world’s largest economies.

Minister Shea will also address the forum on September 27. “I am thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase our beautiful island to the world. As the birthplace of Confederation, it is an ideal setting to engage in dialogue on Canadian and regional public policy issues,” said Minister Shea.

The Diplomatic Forum is an annual event organized by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. It brings together Commonwealth and other foreign heads of diplomatic missions who are accredited to Canada. The Diplomatic Forum is intended to provide heads of missions with a series of briefings on current Canadian public policy issues that will help them understand and interpret Canada and Canadians for their respective nations.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Nancy Bishay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans