State of Trade Issue 1: Canada Had Best Performance of G-7 Economies During Global Economic Downturn

Canada’s exports are the engine of our economy, says Minister Fast

January 23, 2014 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today highlighted some of the findings from Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update 2013 that show how Canada has led the way among G-7 countries despite ongoing challenges within the wider global economy.

“Trade and investment are the key pillars to opening new markets for our exporters, which in turn offers exciting opportunities for our world-class businesses and their employees,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why our government is focused on an ambitious pro-trade plan that aims to ensure that Canadians and their families continue to prosper from international trade and investment.”

Trade data show that even as world trade declined in 2012, Canada’s economic performance remained solid, making it the best-performing country in the G-7 through the post-crisis recovery in both overall employment growth (up 6 percent) and real GDP growth (up 8.9 percent). Economic activity in Canada increased in all four quarters of 2012, and more than 300,000 new jobs were added, bringing the number of net new jobs created since the global recession in 2008 to nearly over 1 million. In addition, Canada’s exports of goods and services expanded even while global trade was stagnant or decreasing.

Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Honduras, Jordan, Panama and Peru. In addition to the recent historic agreement with the European Union, Canada is pursuing trade agreements with more than 25 countries, including large markets such as India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Canada has concluded, signed or brought into force FIPAs with 22 countries since 2006—10 in 2013 alone—and is negotiating many more. Canada currently has 25 FIPAs in force around the world.

Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update was released on December 27, 2013. It provides an annual overview of trends in international trade in goods and services. It includes numerous figures and tables detailing Canada’s performance in key markets, reports on trade and investment with NAFTA countries, updates of progress made under other free trade agreements and summaries of Canada’s current and financial accounts with the United States, the European Union, Japan and other trading partners.

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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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