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Canada and Mexico Continue to Strengthen Economic Ties

International Trade Minister Ed Fast says partnership creates jobs for Canadians and Mexicans alike

(No. 160 - June 13, 2011 - 2 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), today welcomed to Ottawa, Bruno Ferrari, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, and discussed how trade can achieve greater prosperity for Canadians and Mexicans alike.

The ministers and secretary met on the margins of the Mexico-Canada Business2Business Forum: Global Business Opportunities and Innovation Strategies, organized by the Embassy of Mexico to Canada, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade. The forum runs from June 13 to 14.

“The Harper government’s priority is to create jobs, increase prosperity and preserve and strengthen the financial security of Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “Deepening trade, which represents about 60 percent of our economy, with key countries like Mexico is vital to our economic recovery and future prosperity.”

Since NAFTA came into effect, merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico has increased sixfold and was worth $27.1 billion in 2010. Besides being among each other’s largest trading partners, Canada has also become a major foreign investor in Mexico.

“Our government continues to enhance the competitiveness of Canada, which helps attract foreign investment,” said Minister Paradis. “We are also helping Canadian businesses grow and succeed around the world, so they can create jobs and economic growth here at home.”

During his two-day visit to Ottawa, Secretary Ferrari also met the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird.

On the opening day of the forum, Minister Fast also delivered the inaugural keynote address along with Secretary Ferrari. He told the group of more than 400 Canadian and Mexican business leaders that Canada has a lot to offer Mexico in many key areas—from energy, agriculture, the environment and forestry to transportation, infrastructure and high technology.

“Canada and Mexico are important strategic partners,” concluded Minister Fast. “In my meeting today with Secretary Ferrari, I told him the Harper government is committed to working closely with Mexico, building on the incredible success of NAFTA, to further strengthen trade and investment opportunities for both countries.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adam Taylor
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of Industry