September 23, 2009 (11:15 a.m. EDT)
No. 270

Minister Day Wraps Up Ukraine Visit with Signing of New Canadian Commercial Contracts

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded his visit to Ukraine by announcing the signing of contracts between Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.-West Group Engineering joint venture and Ukraine’s Ukragroleasing.

“The signing of these important contracts will deepen our partnership with Ukraine in some critical sectors of our economies, such as agricultural equipment and services,” said Minister Day. “These contracts are great examples of the kind of connections we need to make to create new opportunities for our people to succeed in the years ahead.”

The contracts, worth over $640 million, are for the design and engineering of grain-storage facilities and milk-collection systems across Ukraine. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.-West Group Engineering has also reached an agreement with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health to build medical clinics across rural Ukraine.

While in Ukraine, Minister Day also oversaw the signing of an agreement valued at $254 million between MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, B.C., and the National Space Agency of Ukraine to build satellite communications systems in advance of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament being co-hosted by Ukraine.

During his visit, Minister Day announced the launch of talks with Ukraine on a free trade agreement and met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, to address a number of challenges related to the ability of Canadian businesses to invest in the Ukrainian market. Minister Day also met with the General Director of the National Space Agency, Olexandr Zinchenko, to support Canada’s strong commercial relationship with Ukraine, which is marked by growing trade and investment, and cooperation in the aerospace sector. Finally, Minister Day met with Ukraine’s Minister of Fuel and Energy, Yurii Prodan, to discuss the feasibility of Canadian CANDU technology for the expansion of Ukraine’s nuclear program.

In addition, Minister Day delivered a speech to a Canadian and international business audience, where he used the opportunity to emphasize that free and open trade and investment are vital to the international response to the global economic downturn.

Minister Day travels to Kazakhstan tomorrow, where he will meet with key business and government officials to promote Canada’s economy as one of the most successful in the world today, and to build support for a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement with Kazakhstan, which would open its civil nuclear market to Canadian companies.

More details about Minister Day’s trip to Ukraine can be found at Minister Day will visit Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India.

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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