Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies Highlights Canada’s Strong Economic Fundamentals and Investment Advantages During California Visit

Minister of State invites U.S. investors to look north for job-creating, strategic partnerships

(No. 275 - September 23, 2011 - 5:10 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), on behalf of the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today met with potential investors and business leaders in the digital and entertainment sectors, and promoted Canada’s many business strengths at an investment conference in Los Angeles.

“Canada and California enjoy a robust trade and investment partnership, with bilateral merchandise trade valued at over US$34 billion (C$35 billion). It is estimated that nearly 932,000 jobs in California are related to trade with Canada,” said Minister of State Menzies. “This conference provides an opportunity to raise Canada’s business brand profile as a preferred location for foreign direct investment and to showcase Canadian leadership in the digital media, video game, animation, visual effects, software and entertainment sectors.”

The conference is part of a series of business outreach events that Canada is undertaking to bring together business leaders from Canada, the United States and abroad to discuss promising investment opportunities in Canada, as well as the latest trends, key areas of growth, challenges and opportunities emerging as the global economy continues its fragile recovery.

“Our government’s top priority remains the economy, and these efforts to attract foreign investment directly benefit Canadians by creating jobs, raising incomes and strengthening Canada’s competitive position,” said Minister Fast. “With one of the fastest economic growth rates in the G-7; low business costs and taxes; and a skilled, innovative workforce, Canada remains an excellent investment destination for U.S. investors.”

“Google expanded operations into Canada to take advantage of a skilled workforce and innovative research and development facilities,” said Chris O'Neill, Managing Director at Google Canada. “Today’s conference provides an excellent opportunity for companies to learn more about Canada’s competitive advantages and see how Canada is not only the place of choice to start a business, but one to grow a business as well.”

In addition to opening the conference and meeting with potential investors, Minister of State Menzies witnessed Canadian innovation and know-how in action backstage at the Kodak Theatre where Cirque du Soleil’s acclaimed show, IRIS, will make its official debut on September 25, 2011. The production is expected to provide high-value jobs and significant economic spin-offs for the region for the next 10 years, demonstrating that strategic business partnerships between Canada and the United States benefit both countries.

“Canadian know-how is leading the way for cutting-edge performances around the world,” said Cirque du Soleil’s Senior Vice-President of Resident Shows Jerry Nadal. “Cirque du Soleil has made an incredible investment in the Kodak Theatre and Hollywood’s entertainment landscape, bringing state-of-the-art Canadian digital technology, creative talent, revenue and jobs to the local economy.” 

“As demonstrated by Google and Cirque du Soleil, job-creating investments and strategic partnerships are helping Canadian and American businesses and workers succeed on both sides of the border,” added Minister Fast. “These successes in both our countries show the Canada-U.S. trading relationship is the envy of the world. Together, we will continue to demonstrate to the world that free and open trade is the best way to protect and create jobs, lower prices and produce better results in both our countries.”

The United States is Canada’s largest merchandise trading partner. Bilateral merchandise trade reached nearly US$488 billion (C$502 billion) in 2010. And the United States continues to be the number one source for foreign investment into Canada and therefore a high-priority market for investment attraction activities.

To find multilingual, comprehensive information on Canada’s many investment and business advantages, please consult: investincanada.com.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Bram Sepers
Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada
613-996-8080