Ministers Cannon and Van Loan Advance Canada’s Interests at APEC Ministerial Meeting

(No. 360 - November 12, 2010 - 12:20 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, yesterday wrapped up their participation in the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, in advance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s participation in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

In Japan, the two ministers highlighted the importance of Canada’s efforts in the Asia-Pacific region in expanding free trade for the benefit of all Canadians.

“At APEC, Canada focused on delivering jobs, free trade and reduced protectionism in support of global economic recovery,” said Minister Van Loan. “We are committed to continuing to create jobs for Canadians by moving forward with our ambitious free trade agenda, which includes trade negotiations with close to 50 countries.”

Canada already has free trade agreements with several APEC members, including Chile, Peru, Mexico and the United States. Expanding trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region is part of Canada’s free trade agenda aimed at creating jobs for Canadian workers and opening new markets for Canadian businesses.

“APEC is an important venue in which to discuss global issues as well as challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region,” said Minister Cannon.

Minister Cannon met with several of his counterparts on the margins of the Ministerial Meeting, using the opportunity to discuss important issues of concern in the region and beyond. In particular, the Minister raised the dangerous threat of migrant smuggling. Minister Cannon reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthening Canada’s ability to prosecute human smugglers, deter those who seek to jump the immigration queue, and continue to work within regional and multilateral forums to stop these operations before they begin.

APEC ministers discussed the potential of a free trade area of the Asia Pacific and the progress made toward meeting the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, as well as examining the issue of human security.

Minister Van Loan will remain in Japan until November 14 to accompany Prime Minister Harper to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. He has visited the city of Nagoya to further promote job growth and trade between Canada and Japan.

APEC, which has 21 member economies, is the most important forum for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Its members account for 55 percent of world GDP, 40 percent of world population and almost 43 percent of global merchandise trade. It brings together four of Canada’s top five trading partners, from both sides of the Pacific, and works to facilitate trade and investment in the region.

For the Ministerial Meeting Joint Statement, please see 2010 22nd APEC Ministerial Meeting.

For additional details about Canada’s participation at APEC, please see Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Jacques Labrie
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304
monika.bujalska@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000