Canada Signs Telecommunications Cooperation Agreement with Mexico

Getting world-leading Canadian smart phones and other products to market faster will help Canadian businesses and workers, Minister says

(No. 345 – November 13, 2011 – 3:15 a.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, signed an agreement with Mexico that will help Canadian producers of smart phones and other telecommunications products reach Mexican consumers faster and with less expense, by eliminating the need for retesting in Mexico.

“This is good news for Canadian testing laboratories, manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and their workers,” said Minister Fast. “This agreement is further proof of the highly skilled, top-notch workforce across Canada. The agreement will save Canadian telecommunications businesses the time and expense of additional product testing, facilitate trade between our two countries and benefit workers and families across Canada and in Mexico.”

Minister Fast signed the agreement with Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, while attending the 2011 APEC forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 12.

The agreement with Mexico means that telecommunications equipment destined for the Mexican market from Canada will no longer have to be retested in Mexico. For example, manufacturers of smart phones or high-speed xDSL modems will be able to provide test results from recognized laboratories in Canada that will be accepted in Mexico for purposes of regulatory approval.

“We welcome this mutual recognition agreement between Canada and Mexico,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion. “Agreements like this help to eliminate duplicate testing, which in turn can reduce the time and costs associated with the introduction of new products. That is good news for business between our countries.”

Signing of the Mutual Recognition Agreement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment follows discussions by the NAFTA Telecommunications Standards Subcommittee, which aims to lower costs for businesses, workers, producers, governments and consumers while maximizing cross-border trade in goods and services.

In 2010, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico reached $27.1 billion. Canada and Mexico are now among each other’s largest trading partners, while Canada has become a major foreign investor in Mexico. Since NAFTA entered into force in 1994, Canada’s trade with Mexico has increased six-fold. 

Mexico’s mobile phone industry is growing at an impressive rate. It is predicted that by 2014, total mobile subscribers in Mexico will reach a staggering 107.3 million. From January to August 2011, Mexico’s telecommunications imports were $2.8 billion, a 7.6 percent increase over the $2.6 billion-worth of imports in the same period in 2010.

For more information, please visit: Streamlined Market Access - Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements (MRAs).

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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
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