Baird Announces New Trade Initiative at Pacific Alliance Meeting

June 20, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the establishment of a new Canadian Trade and Development Facility while attending the Pacific Alliance Dialogue with Observers, held today in Punta Mita, Mexico, as part of the IX Pacific Alliance Summit.

The funding initiative will help developing countries negotiate, implement and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada and other countries.

“Through alliances and investments like these, our government is helping to unlock the economic potential of developing countries, while also supporting Canada’s own prosperity and stability,” said Baird. Canada’s bilateral relations with each of the four members of the Alliance—Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—are among our strongest in the hemisphere. Building on this solid foundation, we are keen to explore how we can take our relations to the next level.”

“Through our engagement in the Americas, including through the Pacific Alliance, Canada is working with like-minded partners to increase economic opportunity, strengthen security and institutions and foster lasting relationships,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. “Deeper trade and investment relationships with priority countries under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan will help generate jobs and business opportunities in Canada, as well as in our Pacific Alliance partners.”

“Stimulating private sector-led development is the best way to help move people and communities from poverty to prosperity in developing countries,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. “By helping to build the foundation for increased trade and investment between Canada and developing countries, Canada helps stimulate sustainable development, reduce poverty and create job opportunities for people in Canada and developing countries.”

Engagement with the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade group comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, is part of the government’s ambitious pro-trade plan and of Canada’s goal of broadening and deepening Canada’s trading relationships with partners in the Americas as well as the Asia-Pacific region.

This is Baird’s second trip to Latin America in recent weeks. For more information on Baird’s previous visit, see Baird Concludes Successful Visit to Latin America and Canada’s Participation at OAS General Assembly.

For more information on Canada’s Strategy for Engagement in the Americas, please visit The Americas: Our Neighbours, Our Priority and Panorama.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Canada’s New Trade and Development Facility

Canada’s new trade and development initiative, which will be allocated up to $25 million per year, will better coordinate resources, expertise and services offered through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. The initiative will deliver support that will help countries negotiate, conclude, implement and benefit from trade agreements with Canada and other countries.

This funding facility will also focus on providing trade-related services to small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries. The key focus is on countries with which Canada has or is developing trade agreements. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has partnered with the Trade Facilitation Office Canada to provide smaller exporters in developing countries with the information, advice and contacts they need to gain access to the Canadian marketplace as well as other markets.