Minister Van Loan Promotes Benefits of Free Trade with Europe

Trip to Eastern Europe showed broad support of trade agreement’s pivotal role in supporting growth and job creation

(No. 233 - July 21, 2010 - 3:50 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today concluded a successful visit to Europe. There he promoted free and open trade and investment. In particular, he urged European Union countries to lend their support to the successful conclusion of a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada.

Minister Van Loan visited Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, where he met with business leaders and elected officials, including government and opposition members. In all of the meetings, support was expressed for free trade and the benefits of strengthened economic ties with Canada.

He also met with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in Estonia, as well as Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Bulgaria.

“At a time when Canadian business needs it most, our government is pursuing free trade and ensuring that Canadians can compete and succeed in the global marketplace,” said Minister Van Loan. “Both Canada and the European Union are committed to negotiating an ambitious and comprehensive economic and trade agreement that will open doors for business and help create jobs for both economies.”

The Canada-European Union joint economic study released in October 2008 shows that a comprehensive economic and trade agreement could boost Canadian gross domestic product by $12 billion annually, and two-way trade with Europe could increase by 20 percent.

For additional details on Minister Van Loan’s visit, consult Official visit to Europe.

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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
613-992-9304

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