Harper Government Welcomes Decision to Make it Easier and Faster for Canadians to Do Business in Burma

February 15, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, welcomed today the Government of Burma’s decision, effective February 1, 2013, to offer Canadian business people visas on arrival to Burma. Previously, Canadian business people had to apply before leaving home, resulting in delays as long as several weeks.

“We welcome this decision to offer Canadian business people visas upon their arrival in Burma, which will help grow our commercial presence there,” said Minister Fast. “I raised this issue with Burma’s leaders during my trade mission last year, and I am pleased to report today that progress has been made. This is good news for Canadian business people, and it will facilitate the continued deepening of our trading relationship with Burma, contributing to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in both countries.”

Minister Fast led a trade mission to Burma in September 2012 during which he announced that the Government of Canada would have a full-time trade commissioner at its soon-to-be-open embassy in Burma.

“This is a key step to promoting trade between our countries,” stated Mike Perry, President of Optelian, a participant in the trade mission. “The travel required to properly support our Burmese client in the successful deployment of the national fibre optic backbone for mobile communications required extensive cost and logistics just to obtain visas. Removing the need to apply for a visa prior to travel will significantly enhance our ability to serve our customers and will level the playing field for Canadian companies.”

For more information on obtaining Burmese visas, business travellers should consult Myanmar Visa on Arrival before they depart.

For more information about Minister Fast’s trade mission to Burma, please consult Trade Mission to Southeast Asia.

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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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