May 7, 2009 (11:00 a.m. EDT)
No. 126

Minister Day Wraps Up European Trade Promotion Visit

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a five-day visit to Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Romania, where he was opening doors to new opportunities for Canadian companies.

During his visit, Minister Day signed foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) with Latvia and the Czech Republic. Tomorrow, he will sign a FIPA with Romania. These agreements will protect and promote Canadian investments so that businesses can invest with confidence.

“Renewing these FIPAs represents a concrete step in moving Canada’s trade agenda forward,” said Minister Day. “These agreements also help deliver on the government’s commitment to create the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete internationally.”

Minister Day met with key ministers and senior officials in each country to discuss areas of mutual interest, such as energy security in the region. He also promoted the benefits of a closer Canada-EU economic relationship.

The launch of negotiations with the EU toward a comprehensive economic partnership agreement was officially announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the Canada-EU Summit on May 6. The agreement could provide a $12-billion boost to the Canadian economy and a 20-percent increase in bilateral trade between Canada and the EU.

While in Lithuania, Latvia and Romania, Minister Day promoted Canada’s expertise in the energy sector and raised the profile of Canadian companies, particularly those in the nuclear industry, as world-class suppliers of quality goods and services. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the Canadian nuclear industry have the technological expertise to participate in the construction of a Lithuanian-led nuclear power project for the region, and for phases three and four of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant. These multibillion-dollar projects could create new jobs in Canada and Europe.

In Romania, the minister promoted Canada’s new measures to help Canadian mining and oil and gas companies meet and exceed their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad.

More details about Minister Day’s trip to Europe can be found at International Trade: Minister Day opens doors for Canadian business in Europe.

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For further information, and high-resolution photographs, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000