Harper Government Concludes Investment Agreement with Serbia

Helping Canadian businesses expand and succeed abroad is key part of ambitious job-creating, pro-trade plan, says Minister Fast

September 17, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced the conclusion of negotiations on a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) between Canada and Serbia. Minister Fast made the announcement at Gulan Die Casting Ltd., a company in Mississauga, Ontario. He was joined by Wladyslaw Lizon, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville, and members of the Serbian-Canadian business community.

“I am pleased to announce today that Canada has concluded a key investment treaty with Serbia,” said Minister Fast. “This new agreement between our two countries will help ensure the business environment is more secure for Canadian companies looking for opportunities in Serbia. It is also further proof that the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our nation’s history continues to produce results for our workers, businesses and exporters.”

A FIPA is a treaty designed to promote and protect Canadian investment abroad and foreign investment in Canada through reciprocal legally binding provisions. By ensuring greater protection against discriminatory and arbitrary practices and by enhancing the predictability of a market’s policy framework, a FIPA gives businesses greater confidence in investing.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that Canadian investments are protected in global markets,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why we have concluded or brought into force FIPAs with 18 countries since 2006 and are actively negotiating with many others.”

Once in force, the Canada-Serbia FIPA will facilitate the flow of investment, thereby contributing to job creation and economic growth in both countries. The agreement will come into force once both parties complete their domestic ratification processes. Areas of potential growth for Canadian investment in Serbia include the extractive and resource industries and the energy and power generation, transportation infrastructure and agri-food sectors.

Serbia is an important commercial partner for Canada in southeast Europe, with actual or planned Canadian investments estimated to be worth almost $2 billion. Canada and Serbia also recently signed a double taxation agreement that will enter into force in January 2014, social security and air transport agreements, and a strategic economic cooperation arrangement. The two countries enjoy strong people-to-people relationships, with more than 80,300 Canadians self-identifying as being of Serbian origin.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade