Minister Van Loan Highlights Canada’s Trade and Investment Priorities in Advance of G-8 and G-20 Summits

Global prosperity depends on free trade and investment, Minister says

(No. 193 - June 18, 2010 - 1:35 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today delivered a keynote speech at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs outlining Canada’s leadership role in global economic recovery.

“Canada is a free trade leader,” Minister Van Loan told an audience of academics, international researchers and senior representatives of G-20 countries. “Our government recognizes that global economic recovery depends on free and open trade, not protectionism. A core message from Canada at the G-20 Summit will be to open doors to free trade around the world. We will continue our work on restoring the health of the global economy and defining the path forward for future sustainable growth.”

“The G-20 meeting will be an occasion for countries to reaffirm the commitments they made at last year’s Pittsburgh Summit,” said Minister Van Loan. “We all committed to resisting protectionism to ensure economic recovery. As recovery remains fragile, that commitment remains crucial.”

With one of the most successful economies in the world today, the soundest banking system and fastest projected economic growth among advanced economies for the next few years, Canada remains on track for global success, the Minister noted. He pointed out that other trading nations are quickly discovering the many advantages that Canada has to offer as an investment destination and partner for global business.

Minister Van Loan added that Canada is building on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement by opening doors around the world as part of an aggressive trade strategy. Recent trade initiatives include:

  • free trade agreements with Peru and the European Free Trade Association states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland;
  • legislation to implement free trade agreements with Jordan and Colombia;
  • a newly signed free trade agreement with Panama; and
  • new negotiations toward a Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement.

“The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has the potential to increase two-way trade by 20 percent,” said Minister Van Loan. “It is our most ambitious trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement, and I am pleased with the progress we are making in these negotiations.”

During his speech, Minister Van Loan urged the audience to give broad support to free trade among all nations.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada