Minister Van Loan Concludes Successful Visit to Africa
(No. 108 - March 18, 2010 – 2:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today concluded a visit to Kenya, where he promoted Canada as a supplier of high-quality goods and services, and championed the good work of Canadian companies in that country.
“The Government of Canada has made it a priority to diversify Canadian trade and investment opportunities to improve the prosperity of Canadians at home,” said Minister Van Loan. “Africa is an increasingly important market for our products and services.”
During his visit to Kenya, Minister Van Loan met with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moses Wetangula. During the meetings, Minister Van Loan pressed for free and open trade and investment, confirmed Canada’s support for East Africa regional economic integration, and discussed the mutual economic benefits of the robust cooperation between Canada and Kenya in the consulting, transportation, infrastructure and engineering sectors.
While in Nairobi, Minister Van Loan witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Canada's international contracting and procurement agency, and Muringa Holdings Ltd., a Kenyan energy consortium headquartered in Nairobi. The memorandum of understanding involves developing a thermal power plant at Naivasha, Kenya, to upgrade that country’s power system capacity with Magellan Aerospace Limited of Toronto. The project is valued at approximately $200 million.
Minister Van Loan also met with representatives of the Kenyan and Canadian business communities to promote Canada’s new measures on corporate social responsibility for Canadian companies operating abroad.
The Minister witnessed first-hand the growing demand for telecommunications products, and information technology, equipment and services from Canada when he toured Comtec Services Limited’s data centre in Nairobi. Canadian investment and expertise plays a significant role in the provision of Internet services in Kenya.
“Canadian companies have proven to be world-class, and the partnership between Comtec and Kenya’s Safaricom is a good example of how Canadian expertise in information and communication technology is in demand across Africa,” said Minister Van Loan.
Trade between Canada and Kenya is consistently growing, with principal Canadian merchandise exports in 2009 consisting of machinery, textiles, vegetables, paper and paperboard.
Minister Van Loan’s visit to Kenya was preceded by a visit to South Africa, where he announced the successful conclusion of negotiations toward a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement with that country, marked the conclusion of bilateral air transportation negotiations, and advocated Canadian investment in South Africa’s telecommunications, mining, transportation, energy and infrastructure sectors.
For more details about Minister Van Loan’s trip, consult Ministerial visit to Africa.
Minister Van Loan meets with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga to promote Canadian expertise so companies can compete and succeed in Africa and beyond.
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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