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August 24, 2009 (2:10 p.m. EDT)
No. 230

Minister Day Promotes Canadian Business in Ecuador

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, opened doors for Canadian business today in Quito, Ecuador, a vibrant, emerging market.

“Ensuring free and open trade and investment is vital to the international response to the global economic recession,” said Minister Day. “It is important during this time of economic downturn to ensure doors are opened for Canadian business, especially here in the Americas.”

While in Ecuador, the Minister met with high-ranking Ecuadorian officials, including Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s Vice-President; Lautaro Pozo, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration; Galo Borja, Coordinating Minister for Strategic Sectors; Germánico Pinto, Minister of Mines and Petroleum; and Augusto Barrera, Mayor of Quito. They explored ways Canada and Ecuador can work more closely and efficiently together to resist protectionism and ways to further improve the investment climate for Canadian companies in Ecuador, namely in key sectors such as infrastructure and mining.

The Minister also promoted new measures recently implemented by the Government of Canada to help Canadian mining, oil and gas companies meet and exceed their social and environmental responsibilities when operating abroad (also known as “corporate social responsibility.”)

“Canadian companies are major investors in Ecuador’s mining sector,” said Minister Day. “It was important for me to be here to promote our leadership in this sector. Whether it is protecting the environment, helping communities or respecting the position of Indigenous peoples, we think responsibility and economic prosperity can go hand in hand.”

During his visit, Minister Day also met with Ramón Espinel, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries, and thanked Ecuador for taking steps to remove its ban on Canadian beef, offal and cattle. Minister Day asked for the earliest possible final decision for trade in those products to resume and also requested the early removal of Ecuador’s ban on Canadian live swine. “Our government will stand up and fight alongside hard-working Canadian cattle and hog farmers affected by these bans,” said Minister Day.

While in Quito, Minister Day delivered a speech to the Chamber of Commerce Canada-Ecuador, in which he talked about his tour of the New Quito International Airport and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)’s involvement in that project. “This involvement shows Canada’s ability to meet important infrastructure needs for all Ecuadorians,” said the Minister. “This is also a good example of how CCC continues to support job creation back home in Canada, while simultaneously contributing to the Ecuadorean economy through sourcing of local products and technologies.”

In 2008, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ecuador totalled $415 million. Top Canadian merchandise exports to Ecuador that year were cereals (wheat and maslin), paper, paperboard and machinery. Top merchandise imports from Ecuador were fruits and nuts (mainly bananas), live trees and plants (cut flowers), and fish and seafood.

For more information about Canada’s policy on Corporate Social Responsibility, please see Minister Day Promotes Responsible Practices for Canadian Businesses Abroad.

For more info about Minister Day’s visit, please see Ministerial visit to Brazil and Ecuador.

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

Mélisa Leclerc
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