Showcasing Canada’s Strengths and Capabilities in Dominican Republic and Haiti

Minister Valcourt wraps up successful trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti

September 7, 2012 - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), today concluded a trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti on behalf of the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Minister Valcourt was accompanied by Rob Merrifield, Chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade, and 20 organizations, primarily from the infrastructure and agri-food sectors.

“The Government of Canada is committed to promoting Canadian business abroad to create jobs, economic growth and prosperity for middle-class Canadian families,” said Minister Valcourt. “We must deepen and broaden access to dynamic and high-growth markets around the world.”

“By promoting and showcasing Canada’s strengths and capabilities in target sectors and foreign markets, trade missions enhance Canada’s profile and visibility on the international stage, while maximizing the benefits for world-class Canadian companies” said Minister Fast. “By helping Canadian businesses expand and succeed abroad, we are also helping to create jobs, growth and prosperity at home.”

Trade missions are strategic and sector-focused, visiting countries that offer Canada the greatest potential for growth and success. This mission was specifically organized to match Canadian capabilities with opportunities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, in turn expanding existing business links and creating new jobs at home.

“Groupe Lépine has participated in Canadian government trade missions in the former Czechoslovakia, Russia and now Haiti,” said René Lépine, President of Groupe Lépine International. “These missions have helped our firm rapidly establish our credibility with the top businesses and authorities in these new markets, as well as develop strong business ties that would have otherwise taken us far longer to earn.”

To help create opportunities for Canadian businesses and strengthen Canada’s trade relationship with the Dominican Republic, Minister Valcourt met with numerous government and business leaders, including President Danilo Medina.

Minister Valcourt witnessed the lighting of new street lamps manufactured by LED Roadway Lighting of Canada and purchased by the Dominican Corporation of State Electricity Companies (Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales). He also visited Canadian businesses—including Gildan Activewear Inc.—that are successful in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Like Canada, Haiti is a founding member of La Francophonie. At the 2010 Francophonie Summit in Montreux, Switzerland, heads of state and government committed to strengthening their efforts to help Haiti rebuild after the devastating earthquake earlier that year. During his visit to Port-au-Prince, Minister Valcourt reiterated this commitment in his meetings with President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.

“Haiti remains a focus for La Francophonie and for Canada,” said Minister Valcourt. “We aim to reinforce existing trade links and create new business opportunities between Canada and Haiti. The Haitian private sector and international investors have an important role to play in rebuilding and strengthening Haiti’s economy.”

“Canada is committed to building and strengthening economic partnerships to increase mutual prosperity in the Americas” said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). “This trade mission has been yet another milestone in our government’s approach to deepening our partnership with countries across the Americas. Increasing trade and economic ties is one of the best ways to create jobs and strengthen communities.”

For more information on Canada’s commitment in the hemisphere, visit Canada’s Engagement in the Americas.

For more information on Minister Valcourt’s trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, consult Trade Mission to Dominican Republic and Haiti.

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A backgrounder follows.

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

Andréa Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)
613-790-3637

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

Backgrounder - Canada Trade Mission to Dominican Republic and Haiti: List of Participating Organizations

  1. Ædifica Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  2. BGC Engineering Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
  3. D. I. Jenkins & Associates Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  4. Dynamic Air Shelters Ltd., Calgary, Alberta
  5. Geninov Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  6. Groupe IBI/DAA Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  7. Groupe Lépine International, Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  8. Haven Timber Homes Ltd., Lac La Hache, British Columbia
  9. HG Environnement, Blainville, Quebec
  10. K-Line Insulators Limited, Toronto, Ontario
  11. LED Roadway Lighting Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia
  12. Ministère des Relations internationales, Québec, Quebec
  13. Moloney Electric Inc., Toronto, Ontario
  14. Pars Intermodal Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  15. PoleCo, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  16. Saint John Port Authority, Saint John, New Brunswick
  17. SNC Lavalin International Inc., Montréal, Quebec
  18. Stark International Inc., New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
  19. Terra Vista Ltd., Glovertown, Newfoundland and Labrador
  20. WE-Supreme, Red Deer, Alberta