Harper Government Leads by Example at World Economic Forum

Canada’s leadership on the world stage in support of free and open trade continues with new trade and investment accomplishments

January 25, 2014 - Davos, Switzerland - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today wrapped up meetings at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), held from January 22 to 25 in Davos, Switzerland. Minister Fast also attended the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering on the margins of the WEF.

At the WEF, Minister Fast announced the launch of negotiations toward a new WTO plurilateral agreement on environmental goods, which will accelerate trade liberalization for a broad range of environmental products, creating new jobs and opportunities while advancing key economic and environmental objectives. Minister Fast also congratulated Groupe FerroAtlántica of Spain, a world-leading producer of silicon metal and manganese and ferrosilicon alloys, on its $375-million investment in Quebec to build a new plant that will create more than 300 manufacturing jobs; the plant will open late in 2016.

In meetings with key international counterparts, as well as with leading Canadian business and industry leaders, Minister Fast once again highlighted Canada as an investment destination of choice and reiterated that a key foreign policy objective for Canada is to advance the commercial interests of Canadian firms in priority markets around the world as part of the Harper government’s recently announced Global Markets Action Plan.

Quick Facts

  • Both the IMF and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecast that Canada will be among the fastest-growing economies in the G-7 in 2014 and 2015.
  • Canada is second only to Hong Kong as the best place to do business in the world, surpassing Germany, Japan and the United States, according to the Bloomberg Ease of Business Ranking—up from sixth place last year.
  • To advance Canadian interests, Minister Fast held bilateral meetings with ministers and key counterparts, including those  from Japan, Mexico, the United States, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
  • The WEF annual meeting is a unique international platform that brings together more than 2,400 of the world’s top decision makers from government, business and civil society.
  • With more than 50 Canadian participants in attendance, Canada was well represented by government and private sector and stakeholder groups, including representatives of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, several leading corporations, NGOs and the provinces of Alberta and Quebec. Ministers Fast and Baird held a round table to discuss issues of core importance to Canadian businesses.
  • With one in 10 Canadian jobs linked to foreign investment, the Government of Canada understands that attracting new investment creates jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses and workers and their families.
  • For the sixth year in a row, the WEF rated Canada’s banking system as the world’s soundest.


“While in Davos, I once again reminded my counterparts from around the world, as well as business and industry leaders, that free and open trade is the best way to create new jobs and opportunities, grow the economy and fully entrench the global recovery. Pursuing pro-growth and pro-trade policies and advancing our commercial interests at home and abroad has kept Canada ahead of the pack. I also provided clear examples that have been key to Canada’s success. These include a historic agreement-in-principle with the European Union, a record number of foreign investment promotion and protection agreements in 2013, and a new focused trade strategy that will help Canada stay ahead of the curve in a fiercely competitive global economy.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“Our commercial interests go hand-in-hand with our commitment to global peace and security. Thanks to our government’s sound economic policies, Canadian workers, businesspeople, exporters and investors are continuing to gain a competitive edge in more markets around the world. Canada’s rock-solid economic fundamentals make our country a top destination for global investors. At the WEF, we showed this to the world once again.”

- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

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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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