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Modification - Minister Fast to Visit Brazil and Paraguay to Create Jobs and Opportunities for Canadians

Modification: added hyperlinks in paragraphs five and seven

Canada committed to strengthening economic ties with the Americas

(No. 176 - Modification - June 23, 2011 - 7:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that his first visit abroad will be to Brazil and Paraguay from June 23 to 29. The objective of this visit is to strengthen relationships with the region, open doors for Canadian businesses, and promote the trade, investment and economic growth opportunities that will create jobs and prosperity for Canadians.

“Canadian businesses are well positioned to share their expertise with the countries of the Americas, and we are committed to helping them expand their business and investment initiatives,” said Minister Fast. “When Canadian companies succeed globally, it translates into jobs and prosperity at home, and that is our focus.”

The Government of Canada has identified Latin America and the Caribbean as a priority market. In 2010, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Latin America and the Caribbean was valued at almost $24 billion, up 22 percent from 2009.

“Our government is committed to promoting prosperity throughout the Americas by building dynamic and growing economies and promoting responsible investment and open markets,” said Minister Fast. “This in turn will create new opportunities and jobs in Canada, further protecting and strengthening the financial security of Canadians.”

While in Brazil, the Minister will be accompanied by representatives of 19 Canadian companies. This portion of the trip will showcase Canadian knowledge in key sectors throughout Brazil to take advantage of infrastructure opportunities provided by the 2014 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup soccer tournament, the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Brazil’s major infrastructure development initiative—the Accelerated Growth Program.

Brazil is a major economic player in the world and a key commercial partner for Canada. In 2010, Canadian exports to Brazil totalled $2.6 billion, a 60-percent increase from the previous year. The same year, Brazil was the 8th-largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada and the 11th-largest recipient of Canadian direct investment abroad, with a stock of $9.7 billion invested.

In Paraguay, the Minister will meet with government officials to discuss how to further expand trade with Paraguay and Mercosur (includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). He will also meet with Canada-based companies seeking to augment their business in the region.

In 2010, GDP growth in Paraguay exceeded 15 percent, the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although Canadian exports to Paraguay are currently modest, the prospects for increased Canadian direct investment in Paraguay are very significant and will in turn lead to increased bilateral trade.

For more information on the Minister’s visit, please visit Minister Fast Visits Paraguay and Brazil.

To learn more about Canada’s engagement in the Americas, visit Canada and the Americas: Priorities and Progress.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adam Taylor
Director of Communications and Tour
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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