International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan Promotes Free and Open Trade

Canada’s focus on Asia-Pacific highlighted at Schulich School of Business

(No. 323 - October 4, 2010 - 10:40 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today discussed Canada’s strategy for expanding trade opportunities with the Asia-Pacific region. Minister Van Loan delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion at York University’s Schulich School of Business during a workshop for Canadian businesses on accessing opportunities in the region. The workshop anticipates November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Yokohama, Japan.

“APEC meetings aim to strengthen trade and investment cooperation in the region,” said Minister Van Loan. “We have strong ties across the Pacific, and we want to increase opportunities for Canadian businesses in this highly dynamic region.”

Since APEC’s formation in 1989, total merchandise trade in the Asia-Pacific region has grown by 350 percent. In 2009, Canada’s bilateral merchandise trade with APEC economies totalled $590.7 billion and accounted for more than 81 percent of Canada’s trade.

“With one of the most successful economies in the world today, Canada offers key economic advantages as a partner for global business,” said Minister Van Loan. “Free trade is a pathway to strong economies, and our government is committed to pursuing an aggressive and ambitious free trade agenda that will create jobs in Canada and lead to prosperity for economies at various stages of development.”

In the past four years, the Government of Canada has opened new markets for Canadians and Canadian businesses by concluding free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Jordan, Panama and the European Free Trade Association states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The government has also launched discussions on economic partnership with two of the world’s largest economies, the European Union and India.

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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
monika.bujalska@international.gc.ca

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