Modification - International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan Announced Funding for Investment Project in Mongolia

Modification: Change to date in the first paragraph from today to yesterday

Responsible investment to benefit Mongolians

(No. 317 - Modification - September 30, 2010 - 8:30 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, yesterday announced funding for a project in support of a Canadian investment initiative in Mongolia after his meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Sükhbaatar Batbold of Mongolia.

The $270,000 in funding, which is being contributed through the Government of Canada’s Investment Cooperation (INC) program, will be associated with Centerra Gold Inc.’s Mongolian mining operations. It will support environmental and vocational training and community development initiatives at the company’s Boroo mine site in north-central Mongolia.

"As Mongolia seeks to develop its market economy after being held back during its long Communist rule, there is a potential for strong economic growth," said Minister Van Loan. "Canadian companies have the opportunity to establish strong ties that will lead to long-term economic benefits in Canada and Mongolia."

At the end of 2009, Canadian direct investment in Mongolia totalled $601 million. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Mongolia has grown more than 60-fold in the decade between 2000 and 2009, from $2.6 million in 1999 to $163.8 million in 2009.

Canada and Mongolia are currently in negotiations toward a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA). The two countries have pledged to work together to conclude an agreement quickly. The first round of negotiations took place in January 2009 in Ulaanbaatar.

A bilateral FIPA would provide greater predictability and certainty for Canadian investors considering investment opportunities in Mongolia. Canada’s objective in entering the negotiations is to secure a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that will protect investors by establishing a framework of legally binding rights and obligations.

The INC program is a $20-million-per-year fund that supports responsible, developmentally beneficial engagement in developing countries by the Canadian private sector. The program is designed to share some of the costs involved in studying the viability of a new investment, demonstrating and adapting appropriate technologies, and undertaking activities aimed at enhancing the economic, environmental and social benefits of Canadian companies investing abroad.

For more information on the meeting between prime ministers Harper and Batbold, please visit PM and Mongolian Prime Minister Sükhbaatar Batbold Strengthen Canada-Mongolia Relations.

For more information on INC, please visit Investment Cooperation Program (INC).

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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