June 3, 2009 (1:45 p.m. EDT)
No. 148

Minister Day Announces Support for Responsible Business Investment in Developing Countries

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today marked International Trade Day by announcing plans for Investment Cooperation (INC), a new program designed to support responsible business investment in developing countries and thus reduce poverty and promote economic growth.

“The Canadian private sector has much to offer the developing world in terms of the technology, skills and capital needed to create economic opportunity,” said Minister Day.

The new program takes the place of Canadian International Development Agency Industrial Cooperation (CIDA-INC), and its administration will be transferred from CIDA to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). This follows an internal review of CIDA-INC.

“In keeping with our commitment to make Canada’s international assistance more effective, the move of CIDA-INC to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is a logical step,” said the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. “The department’s experience and networks, both in Canada and abroad, will help build stronger partnerships with Canadian firms, and make the new program even more effective in achieving Canada’s development objectives.”

Minister Day also marked International Trade Day by releasing the latest editions of two annual publications: Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update 2009, which reviews Canada’s performance in international trade and investment in 2008; and Canada’s International Market Access Report 2009. The reports are available online respectively at:

State of Trade

and

Canada's International Market Access Report - 2009

Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update 2009 shows strong growth in Canadian exports to emerging markets,” said Minister Day. “For example, Canadian merchandise exports have seen double-digit increases to each of the so-called BRIC countries over the past year: Brazil (71%), Russia (30%), India (35%) and China (10%). Opening doors to Canadian businesses in these key markets is something that I will continue to pursue vigorously.”

While delivering a speech to senior businesspeople for International Trade Day, Minister Day also announced $2 million to help Canadian national business associations extend their activities in the global economy. In addition, he announced funding for the Invest Canada-Community Initiatives (ICCI) program, which invests $3 million annually to help Canadian communities attract foreign investment.

“Our economic prosperity depends on being more active in the global economy. With this funding, our government is helping Canadian industry move into new markets,” said Minister Day. “The funding announced today will also help municipalities attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment.”

Every year, International Trade Day brings together the business community, senior government officials, industry stakeholders and academics to discuss issues and priorities in international trade and economics. As a national leader in public policy advocacy on business issues, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has long played a key role in hosting this important event.

For more detail on the funding announced today and this year’s International Trade Day, consult the following web page:

International Trade Day 2009

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For further information, 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
www.internationaltrade.gc.ca