The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a two-day visit to Brazil, where he worked to strengthen Canada’s economic presence in this booming South American market.
“I was impressed by the upswing in demand here for Canadian goods, services and technologies linked to the growth of the Brazilian economy,” said Minister Day. “We want our commercial relationship to keep growing, and that’s why we’ve opened two new trade offices here. Canadian companies have proven to be world leaders, and their products are in high demand in key sectors in Brazil. Our government wants to help them to seize the opportunities.”
In 2008, Canadian exports to Brazil totalled $2.6 billion, a 70-percent increase over the previous year. Key exports to Brazil include fertilizers, mineral fuels and oils, salt, sulphur, cement, machinery, paper and paperboard.
During his visit, Minister Day met with Eduardo Henrique Accioly Campos, Governor of Pernambuco—a northeastern state currently undergoing a development boom—and with representatives of the region’s business community to discuss enhanced cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy and science and technology.
Minister Day also toured the rapidly expanding Suape Port and Industrial Complex. The port is one of South America’s main shipping hubs, and it offers commercial and industrial services to the more than 70 Brazilian and international companies, including Quebecor, that have set up shop there. Suape Port facilities offer Canadian investors a unique opportunity to diversify and expand their reach into Brazil—an extremely fast-growing and stable market.
Brazil ranks as the seventh-largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada with total cumulative stock of $11.9 billion at the end of 2008. While in the country, Minister Day vigorously promoted Canada’s many advantages for foreign investment. This was Minister Day’s second trade mission to Brazil in nine months.
Minister Day travels to Ecuador tomorrow, where he will meet with key business and government officials to encourage Canadian investment and business ties between Canada and Ecuador and to promote Canada’s new responsible-practice measures for Canadian companies operating abroad.
For more details on Minister Day’s visit, visit DFAIT’s Ministerial visit to Brazil and Ecuador website.
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For further information, 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