Minister Van Loan Says Canada Wins Gold with Global Business Leaders

Modification: correction to Mr. El-Erian’s title

(No. 86 - Modification - March 1, 2010 - 3:30 p.m. ET) More than Olympic athletes will be returning home from Vancouver on Monday with a first-place impression of Canada, says the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, at the conclusion of the Global Business Leaders Initiative.

“The 2010 Olympic Winter Games showed the world that Canada provides great competitive advantages to those seeking to do business,” said Minister Van Loan. “International investors saw that The Economist was right to declare Canada the best place to invest in the years ahead. Our banking system has been ranked the most stable in the world, we have a highly educated workforce, we enjoy a high quality of life and we are on track to lead the G7 in economic growth in 2011. Canada is a first-rate destination for investment.”

The Global Business Leaders Initiative was a two-week investor outreach program led by Minister Van Loan during the Olympics. It included a series of business round tables, as well as one-on-one meetings between Minister Van Loan and global business leaders. The initiative attracted international media attention, successfully highlighting Canada’s commercial strengths and investment advantages to the world.

As part of the program, Minister Van Loan hosted the Global Business Leaders Day, a full-day signature event attended by 115 top business leaders and senior political representatives. Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and Co-Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO, and Richard Florida, author and professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, delivered keynote addresses.

“This event provided a wonderful opportunity to network with business people from around the world, as well as with Canadian political leaders,” said David T. Fung, Chairman and CEO of ACDEG Group in Vancouver, one of the participants. “The insightful panel discussions put a spotlight on why Canada is truly a great place in which to live, invest and prosper.”

Minister Van Loan concluded, “Canada is well placed to emerge from the global economic downturn stronger than ever. Our government is making new investments that will create jobs and prosperity for communities across the country.”

The Government of Canada will continue its investment outreach activities well after the 2010 Winter Games, through its network of embassies and offices abroad, and at high-level international events taking place in Canada and abroad in 2010.

For multilingual, comprehensive information on Canada’s many investment and business advantages, please visit Invest in Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000

Backgrounder - Global Business Leaders Initiative

The Global Business Leaders Initiative was a comprehensive program showcasing Canada’s competitiveness, excellence, depth of talent, innovation and creativity to potential investors from around the globe. It was carried out in Vancouver during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

The Initiative brought together top investment prospects, high-level foreign executives from multinational companies, and Canadian business and government leaders. It included a series of business round tables, as well as one-on-one meetings between Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan and business leaders.

Minister Van Loan hosted three business round tables with foreign investors. The themes of these events were the financial system, the aerospace sector, and information and communication technologies.

The Global Business Leaders Day, the Initiative’s signature event, was hosted by Minister Van Loan on February 22.

On February 24, Minister Van Loan was joined by Arturo S. Elias, President and Managing Director of General Motors of Canada Ltd., for a tour of the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation in Vancouver. The event provided an opportunity to showcase Canada’s leading-edge fuel cell and hydrogen industry to foreign and domestic journalists. Media representatives also had the opportunity to test drive General Motors’ new Chevrolet Equinox.

Minister Van Loan also met with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak, who is responsible for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to discuss continued cooperation between Canada and Russia.