Ministers Fast and Ritz Meet with Israeli Minister at WTO Conference

Photo (from left to right): Minister Fast, Minister Bennett and Minister Ritz.

December 4, 2013 - Bali, Indonesia - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, meet with Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of the Economy, Minister of Religious Services and Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs. The ministers are in Bali, Indonesia, for the Ninth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference.

Canada’s strong and multi-faceted relationship with Israel is based on the two countries’ shared values, common interests and strong political and social ties. This relationship has been enhanced in recent years through increased cooperation in several areas, including public security, defence, trade and investment, and innovation. The Canadian and Israeli governments, private sectors and academia continue to work together to develop this cooperation.

During the meeting, the ministers discussed the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), a key element of the commercial relationship between the two countries. Since CIFTA came into force in 1997, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Israel has more than doubled, reaching a value of $1.4 billion in 2012.

Cooperation in science, technology and innovation remains a priority, with both governments promoting research, development and technology collaboration in strategic areas in order to increase competitiveness. Canada has been actively supporting the science, technology and innovation relationship with Israel since 1994. Today, the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada program, with co-funding from Israel, finances innovation projects between Canadian and Israeli firms.

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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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