Parliamentary Secretary Keddy Concludes Visit to Portugal and Spain

International Trade Parliamentary Secretary advocated for deeper commercial ties with European partners

(No. 242 - July 30, 20102:15 p.m. ET) Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, today wrapped up a week-long visit to Portugal and Spain to promote greater trade and investment cooperation.

“European partners are important markets for Canadian goods and services,” said Parliamentary Secretary Keddy. “We want to generate more business for Canadian companies active in Portugal and Spain, and attract more investment into Canada.”

During his visit, Mr. Keddy met with a number of government officials and business representatives to promote enhanced bilateral trade and cooperation, with a special emphasis on fisheries and agriculture. Portugal is the second-largest consumer of seafood in the world, per capita, and along with Spain considers Canadian seafood among the world’s best.

Mr. Keddy also took every opportunity to address the importance of moving forward on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement currently being negotiated with the European Union.

“Canada views Portugal and Spain as important partners in advancing negotiations toward an economic agreement with the European Union,” said Mr. Keddy. “An agreement would help protect and advance Canada’s future as a trading nation and bring jobs and prosperity to Canadians.”

The Canada-European Union joint economic study, released in October 2008, shows such an agreement could boost Canadian gross domestic product by at least $12 billion annually, and two-way trade with Europe by $38 billion.

Canada’s bilateral trade with Portugal reached $522 million in 2009, while Canada’s trade with Spain topped $2.5 billion.

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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

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Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000