Canadian and Irish Workers and Businesses Alike Will Benefit from Ambitious Canada-EU Trade Agreement, says Minister Fast

Ireland to hold presidency of European Union next year

November 1, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today, in a speech to the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce, highlighted how an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement will benefit workers and businesses in both countries. Minister Fast also highlighted the important role Ireland will play as it assumes the presidency of the European Union next year.

“Our government is committed to creating jobs and growing the Canadian economy,” said Minister Fast. “Opening new markets for our exporters is key to these efforts, and an ambitious trade agreement between Canada and the EU will help provide good jobs and greater prosperity to workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.”

A trade and economic agreement with the European Union is expected to bring a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion annual increase to Canada’s economy. That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income or 80,000 new Canadian jobs.

“While the Canada-Ireland relationship, based on long-standing and historic people-to-people ties, is already strong, an ambitious and successful conclusion to the Canada-EU trade negotiations will take our partnership to the next level and unlock its full potential,” said Minister Fast.

In 2011, Canada-Ireland two-way merchandise trade amounted to $1.2 billion, and it has great potential for growth. Ireland is the fourth most important destination for Canadian investment abroad, and there are over 50 Irish companies in Canada employing more than 5,500 Canadians.

The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion. The ongoing trade negotiations with the EU represent Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.

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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
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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