(No. 337 - November 10, 2009 - 11:10 a.m. EST) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today met with Wannarat Channukul, Thailand’s Minister of Energy. The ministers agreed to develop an unprecedented Canada-Thailand strategic energy partnership.
“Representatives from both countries will meet again before the end of the year to identify specific technologies and services for potential expanded trade and technology partnerships,” said Minister Day. “This agreement will help Canadian companies take advantage of opportunities in the Thai market, particularly in oil and gas exploration and production, natural gas vehicles, biomass energy, and wind, solar and nuclear energy.”
During his trade mission, the first Canadian ministerial visit to Thailand in six years, Minister Day opened SNC-Lavalin’s new operating base in Bangkok. The centre will be the hub for the Canadian company’s work in the renewable and conventional thermal energy sector in Southeast Asia.
“This is a great example of the demand for Canadian expertise here in Thailand, and of a Canadian company stepping in to meet that need,” said Minister Day. “The new centre offers immense opportunities for both our countries to create new jobs and prosperity for our citizens.”
“We are very pleased to expand our presence in Thailand and the region,” said Alain Lemay, Senior Vice-President, SNC-Lavalin International Inc. “SNC-Lavalin has significant expertise and over 40 years of experience in delivering projects in Asia, most recently on the SIPCO 160MW combined cycle power plant in Rayong, Thailand, and we look forward to working with our Thai clients and partners in the region and continue to deliver world-class engineering and construction solutions to the domestic and regional market.”
On this trade mission the Minister also highlighted that Canada’s Economic Action Plan is investing in clean energy projects that are creating high-quality jobs for Canadians, helping our environment and preparing the economy for the future.
The Minister also met with senior Thai officials including the President of the Trade Representative Office, Kiat Sittheeamorn, and Thailand’s Minister of Commerce, Porntiva Nakasai. During the meetings, Minister Day discussed Canada’s robust and growing commercial partnership with Thailand, promoted Canada as a major player in the energy sector, and pressed for removal of Thailand’s trade restrictions affecting access of Canadian swine, pork, and related products, based on science.
Minister Day also visited the British Columbia International School in Bangkok, where students pursue a mixed curriculum—Canadian and Thai—and obtain two high-school graduation certificates, one from Thailand and one from British Columbia’s Ministry of Education.
“This school is an example of the kind of reach Canadian teaching institutions and methods are having in the region,” said Minister Day. “My visit to Thailand not only shows Canada’s commitment to increasing trade and investment with this market, but it also highlights our countries’ people-to-people contacts, as demonstrated by our education links.”
More details about Minister Day’s visit to Thailand can be found at Ministerial visit to Southeast Asia.
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For further information, and to obtain high-resolution photographs, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade
and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada