Harper Government Focused on Creating Jobs and Delivering Free Trade with European Union

International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan completes trade mission to Turkey and Greece

(No. 390 - December 10, 2010 - 1:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today concluded a five-day trade mission to Turkey and Greece. The trade mission focused on expanding commercial relations and promoting free trade with the European Union.

“Our government continues to pursue an ambitious trade agenda to open new markets for Canadian companies and create jobs and opportunities for our workers,” said Minister Van Loan. “My visit focused on strengthening Canada’s commercial ties to Turkey—a strategic gateway to Europe and Asia—and on promoting deeper trade ties with Greece through a Canada-European Union trade agreement.”

A Canadian business delegation representing the aerospace, agri-food, defence, clean energy, environment, and information and communications technologies sectors accompanied Minister Van Loan on the successful trade mission to Turkey and Greece.

“As a result of this trade mission and the help of the Trade Commissioner Service, we will be signing two new business agreements in online retailing, and one joint venture in mobile application development,” said Catharine Devlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Devlin Web Corporation, a Canadian, award-winning digital communications agency.

“This trade mission gave Free Breeze an unparalleled opportunity to pursue potential business partnerships, make contacts and open doors in the Turkish market,” said Mark James, Director of International Sales, Free Breeze Energy Systems Ltd., a leading Canadian wind energy provider, which opened a new office in Istanbul during the trade mission.

In Turkey, Minister Van Loan also opened the new Canadian Consulate in Istanbul and participated in the opening of a Centennial College recruitment office.

In Greece, Minister Van Loan promoted broader Canada-Greece trade and investment relations. He announced the implementation of the Double Taxation Agreement with Greece, scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2011, and promoted the Canada-European Union trade agreement as the key driver of closer commercial ties.

“Canada is committed to negotiating a broad and ambitious trade agreement that will create jobs in Canada and the European Union, including Greece,” said Minister Van Loan. “The European Union is Canada’s second-largest trading partner. A trade agreement would boost Canada’s economy by up to $12 billion annually and move Canada and EU countries further on the path to economic recovery.”

For additional details on Minister Van Loan’s visit, please consult Ministerial visit to Turkey and Greece.

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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