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Canada’s Economic Success Story Piques Interest in Davos

Free trade policies and positive investment environment leave an impression at World Economic Forum

(No. 42 – January 31, 2011 – 5:10 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, yesterday concluded his visit to Davos, Switzerland, where he led a successful “Invest in Canada” delegation at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

“The economy remains our government’s top priority,” said Minister Van Loan. “This is why our government continues to eliminate barriers to trade and investment, and create jobs and an attractive environment for investors. My efforts in Davos were focused on promoting Canada’s strengths and the opportunities our country offers to my counterparts and global business leaders.”

This year at the World Economic Forum, world leaders and global business representatives were introduced to a little bit of Canada. They experienced BeaverTails and bison burgers, were greeted by Mounties clad in red serge and had the opportunity to get maple leaf mittens. Canada’s innovative, energetic and upbeat presence in Davos helped to make Canada’s economic success story a big part of the corridor chatter.

The Harper government has helped to make Canada a destination for global investment:

  • the lowest overall tax rate by far on new business investment among the major developed economies (G-7);
  • the lowest debt and deficit of those major economies;
  • among the fastest economic growth in the G-7, which is projected to continue into the future, according to the International Monetary Fund;
  • the most skilled workforce, with the highest proportion of post-secondary graduates in the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development;
  • the most generous research and development (R&D) tax incentives in the industrialized world; and
  • an outstanding quality of life, with safe streets, a high standard of living, universal health care, a sound educational system and a beautiful natural environment.

At the World Economic Forum annual meeting, Minister Van Loan met with his trade counterparts from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Japan, China, India, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Jamaica and Kazakhstan, to discuss issues of mutual interest. To highlight Canada’s competitive advantages, Minister Van Loan also hosted an investment reception attended by more than 150 global business leaders.

While in Davos, the Minister also attended the World Trade Organization (WTO) informal ministerial meeting to promote free trade on the global stage and to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to an ambitious conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations.

“Protectionist tendencies are a major threat to economic recovery, in Canada and worldwide,” said Minister Van Loan. “Last week I joined Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Morocco to announce the launch of Canada-Morocco free trade negotiations. Our government is moving forward on an ambitious free trade agenda that is aimed at opening new markets to create jobs and opportunities for Canadian families and businesses, and to drive economic recovery.”

Before 2006, Canada had free trade agreements with only five countries. Since then, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with eight additional countries: Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama, and the European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Canada is also engaged in negotiations with close to 50 other countries, including the members of the European Union and India, and is also in discussions to expand existing first-generation free trade agreements with Chile, Costa Rica and Israel.

For additional details on Minister Van Loan’s visit, please consult Ministerial Visit to Davos, Switzerland.

For more information, please visit Invest in Canada.

International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan promotes Canada's economic advantages to global business leaders in front of the BeaverTails Cabin in Davos, Switzerland.

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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