Minister Fast Highlights Canada’s Pro-trade Plan and Solid Trade Relationship with Australia During Bilateral Forum

Canada’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership will help increase jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in both countries, Minister says

July 24, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today highlighted the outcomes of his recent visit to Australia and how Canada’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will deepen commercial relations between Canada and Australia, creating jobs and prosperity in both countries. Minister Fast made the remarks in a keynote address at the opening session of the second Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Toronto.

“Our government is committed to a pro-trade plan to create jobs and prosperity for workers and their families,” said Minister Fast. “Australia is a priority market for Canada and provides significant commercial opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers—opportunities that will grow with Canada’s inclusion in the TPP.”

The two-day forum is a summit of private and public sector leaders from both countries who meet to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities of interest to Australia and Canada. These include competitiveness and international trade priorities, approaches to global economic recovery, responses to the immense opportunities and transformational changes in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, and leading-edge policies for harnessing technological change.

“As like-minded countries with a shared history and common interests, Canada and Australia have been world leaders in support of free and open trade as the best way to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and to ensure that global economic recovery efforts take root,” said Minister Fast. “People in both countries benefit from the solid trade partnership we’ve built over the decades, and our relationship within the TPP is the next step in growing that partnership.”

Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Australia reached $3.7 billion in 2011, up nearly 9 percent from 2010. By the end of 2011, the stock of two-way investment between Canada and Australia reached almost $31 billion, which makes Australia Canada’s top destination for investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The nature of trade today—and the realities of investment, supply chains and value chains—means that countries large and small have more opportunities than ever before to participate in the global economy, but only if we create the right conditions to do so,” concluded Minister Fast. “Under the guidance of Australia’s trade minister, my good friend Craig Emerson, Australia is helping lead the fight against protectionism around the world, and Canada is a committed partner in this fight.”

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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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