June 23, 2009 (2 p.m. EDT)
No. 174

Canada and Russia Make Progress on Commercial Initiatives

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Viktor Zubkov, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister, today concluded the Seventh Session of the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (IEC) in Moscow, where they signed a joint statement on a range of commercial initiatives.

“During our meetings, we held fruitful discussions on a number of files ranging from mining and agriculture, to energy issues and trade challenges,” said Minister Day. We also discussed Canada’s concerns with the current Russian ban on Canadian pork. “Russia represents a large and growing market with enormous potential for Canadian companies. Canadian exports to Russia grew 30 percent in 2008 and have grown almost 700 percent since 2000. Progress made here today will help us open more doors for Canadian businesses in this important market.”

In the joint statement, Canada and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to facilitating economic activity by establishing and maintaining a favourable environment for trade and investment within a free market conforming to internationally accepted rules and regulations.

Minister Day also made progress on science and technology cooperation with Russia during his meetings. Canada and Russia are working to strengthen long-term economic ties through enhanced cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

The Canada-Russia IEC was created in 1993 as a government-to-government mechanism to address issues affecting bilateral trade. The previous IEC session took place in March 2007 in Ottawa, and the two countries have agreed to hold the Eighth Session in Canada in 2010.

Russia was Canada’s 18th largest merchandise export market in 2008. Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service is continuing to advance Canadian trade, investor and innovation interests in Russia in order to open doors for Canadian business there which translate into jobs back home.

More details about Minister Day’s visit can be found at: Minister Day leads trade mission to Russia

The joint statement can be found at: Joint Statement on the Results of the Seventh Session of the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission.

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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
www.international.gc.ca