April 17, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today wrapped up a working visit to Berlin that saw him advance Canada’s interests on a number of important files.
Among the highlights was Minister Baird’s substantial meeting and working dinner with Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister, which provided an opportunity to discuss a range of bilateral and international issues, including the situations in Europe, Afghanistan and the Middle East and human rights and non-proliferation in Iran.
“Canada values the breadth and depth of its bilateral relationship with Germany,” said Baird. “We share similar values and views on the majority of international issues. This visit helped build on an already impressive relationship between our two countries.
“The ties of family and friendship nurtured by Canadians and Germans represent another important dimension of our relationship. Our active international cooperation, healthy trade and investment relations and long-standing people-to-people ties continue to develop and grow in strength.”
As representatives of Europe’s largest economy, the German government and business leaders have been instrumental in advancing a comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the EU.
In 2011, bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries was $16.7 billion. Germany was Canada’s eighth-largest export market, its fifth source of imports and tenth-largest source of foreign direct investment. Canadian provinces and German states have developed deep and strategic partnerships, and as a result Canada has become a point of reference on education and cultural diversity for many of Germany’s states and its federal government.
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