Minister Fast Highlights Successes of Canada’s Ambitious Pro-trade Plan

Creating jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians in every region of the country is our priority, says Minister Fast

April 15, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today addressed members of Manitoba’s business community and highlighted the government’s pro-trade plan to support Canadian workers and businesses in achieving continued success, economic growth and prosperity in Manitoba and across Canada. Minister Fast delivered his remarks at an event hosted by the World Trade Centre Winnipeg with the support of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

Minister Fast highlighted the recently announced free trade agreement with South Korea and the agreement-in-principle with the European Union, underlining the job-creating benefits both will bring to Canadians, including Manitobans. He reminded the audience that one in five Canadian jobs is linked to exports, and that is why Canada is embarking on the most ambitious trade expansion plan in its history. In less than eight years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 10 countries and is negotiating agreements with more than 50 others.

The Minister highlighted how, under the Global Markets Action Plan, the government is focusing on sectors and markets that offer the greatest opportunity for growth, by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises as they expand into new markets through vigorous and continual trade promotion, supported by an ambitious trade policy.

Minister Fast also took the opportunity to announce a $55,000 contribution to Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. The contribution is from the Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program, which helps local communities attract, retain and expand job-creating foreign direct investment.

Quick Facts

  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement—Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region—will provide Canadian businesses and workers with new access to South Korea, the fourth-largest economy in Asia, which has an annual GDP of $1.1 trillion and a population of 50 million.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is projected to create thousands of jobs for hard-working Canadians by increasing Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent and boosting Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion a year.
  • The EU, with its 28 member states, 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion, is the world’s largest economy.
  • A joint Canada-EU study that supported the launch of negotiations toward the agreement-in-principle concluded that a trade agreement could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 percent. Put another way, this is the economic equivalent of adding $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s annual income or almost 80,000 new jobs to the Canadian economy.

Quotes

“The Harper government’s trade initiatives provide tools to support Canadian companies in pursuing opportunities abroad and succeeding. Our government recognizes the importance of opening new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment, which is why we launched the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history. The recently concluded free trade agreement with South Korea and the agreement-in-principle on a Canada-EU free trade agreement are great examples of how our government is putting in place tools that will create jobs and opportunities for Canadians across the country, including Manitobans.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“The World Trade Centre Winnipeg (WTC Winnipeg) is excited to see Canada’s new trade agreements and other promising trade initiatives stemming from the Global Markets Action Plan. We see first-hand the benefits of existing agreements such as NAFTA, which is helping Manitoba companies be competitive in the U.S. Bakken oil and gas market. A new era of free trade through the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will only improve the business context and bring more opportunities. WTC Winnipeg looks forward to playing a proactive and leading role in helping companies prepare to fully benefit from these new trade agreements.”

- Mariette Mulaire, President and CEO, World Trade Centre Winnipeg

“Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members are showing more and more interest in international trade. The steps being taken by the federal government to pursue international trade agreements, open markets, facilitate exports and create jobs are indeed welcome developments. Although the United States remains an important market for many Manitoba companies, there’s also a need to expand trade with other economies. Measures that help Manitoba companies grow and prosper abroad support our mission to foster a dynamic economy and vibrant communities.”

- Chuck Davidson, President and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce

“The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is a vehicle for our members to expand their networks and connect with other businesses in order to grow their own. A fundamental issue identified by our membership is building relationships with new clients, and recent trade agreements and access to international markets offer another tremendous vehicle for our members to capitalize on global opportunities for local benefits.”

- Jodi Moskal, Chair, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Associated Links

Contacts

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade