Harper Government Continues to Deepen Canada’s Ties in Fast-Growing Asian Markets

Jobs and prosperity for Canadians the focus as Minister Fast participates in APEC, TPP and ASEAN meetings and makes fourth visit to China

October 3, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that he is headed to the APEC ministerial, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and CEO summit meetings being held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from October 3 to 6, 2013. He will then join Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the APEC Leaders’ Meeting before travelling to Singapore, where he will participate in the first Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council Forum on October 9, then to China for a bilateral visit October 10 to 11.

“Our government is focused on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity in order to preserve and strengthen the financial security of Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “Opening new markets for our exporters is key to these efforts, and that’s why I continue to advance Canada’s interests throughout this dynamic and fast-growing region.”

Minister Fast will participate in the APEC ministerial sessions as well as advance Canada’s interests in meetings with his TPP and WTO counterparts.

APEC’s 21 member economies account for almost 2.8 billion people, over half of the world’s GDP and in excess of 80 percent of Canada’s total merchandise trade.

Twelve countries are currently participating in the TPP negotiations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The TPP countries represent a market of more than 792 million people and a combined GDP of $27.5 trillion—more than 38 percent of the world’s economy.

Following his trade visit to Indonesia, Minister Fast will travel to Singapore for the first Canada-ASEAN Business Council Forum. The Council was launched in August 2012 to help deepen Canada’s commercial ties in this dynamic region.

ASEAN comprises 10 countries in Southeast Asia, including major regional economies such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. In 2012, Canadian exports to the region totalled over $5 billion, which would have made the ASEAN countries, collectively, Canada’s seventh-largest export destination.

Minister Fast will conclude his trip in China, where he will further build on the Harper government’s pro-trade plan by promoting Canada’s trade and investment plan during meetings with Canadian and Chinese companies and senior government leaders.

China is now Canada’s second-largest trading partner and second-largest export market, with two-way trade valued at over $70 billion in 2012. This is Minister Fast’s fourth visit to China and 13th visit to Asia since being named trade minister.

For more information, please consult Minister Fast Visits Asia.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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