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Harper Government Concludes Successful Trade Mission to China and Japan

Canadian exports on the rise, thanks to deeper ties with large, dynamic and fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region

April 12, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today marked the conclusion of a five-day trade mission to China and Japan to promote Canadian expertise in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Representatives of 18 small and medium-sized Canadian ICT and medical-imaging companies participated in the trade mission.

“Our government is focused on what matters to Canadians—jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Fast. “That is why we continue to grow our trade ties with China, Japan and other countries throughout the high-growth Asia-Pacific region. Showcasing our expertise on trade missions and increasing our exports to large and fast-growing markets are parts of our government’s commitment to opening new markets around the world to our exporters and are further proof of Canada’s leadership on the world stage at the forefront of trade liberalization.”

“The trade mission led by Minister Fast was extremely effective in helping us promote our company’s services,” said Damian Chen, President and CEO, Colorshadow Communications Inc. “I personally would like to thank the trade commissioners on the ground in Shanghai and Tokyo who made these matchmaking/face-to-face meetings possible and very productive. They understood our needs and the local target market we were interested in, which resulted in highly accurate matches for us. I’m happy to say I am meeting with a mobile telecom group in Tokyo on Monday to start our first collaboration together.”

“Claron Technology is proud to have been part of the Canadian trade delegation to Japan,” said Reuven Soraya, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Claron Technology Inc. “Together, as a group of technologically advanced Canadian companies, the delegation made a strong statement that Canada is a source for medical-imaging innovation. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the delegation and the strong support that Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service has provided in meeting with Japanese experts in all aspects of the field.”

“The Canada trade mission showcased the most innovative and successful Canadian companies,” said Hassan Kotob, Executive Chairman of North Plains. “North Plains has always been in the forefront of managing rich media and digital content distribution, and we are proud to have accompanied Minister Fast on this important trade mission.”

“The opportunities provided to us through Canada’s trade mission to Japan are invaluable,” said David MacKinnon, President and CEO of Novawise Inc., a tech start-up located in Halifax. “Representatives of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Canada and at the embassy in Tokyo are helping us to connect with potential customers and partners in the Japanese market, which in turn is allowing us to realize our business development objectives in the region.”

“Trade missions are all about helping world-class Canadian businesses succeed abroad, which we know creates jobs and prosperity in every region of Canada,” said Minister of State Wong. “Further boosting our trade and investment throughout the Asia-Pacific region are the strong people-to-people ties that are taking our relationships to the next level, and our government will continue to grow these crucial cultural links and friendships throughout the region.”

In 2012, Canada’s bilateral trade with China reached record levels, with merchandise exports alone growing 15 percent to $19.3 billion. China has now surpassed the United Kingdom to become Canada’s second-largest export destination, after the United States.

Japan is Canada’s fourth-largest export market, with exports worth some $10.4 billion in 2012. Canada is actively engaging in free trade negotiations with Japan as part of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan for jobs and growth. The second round of trade talks will take place in Ottawa during the week of April 22, 2013. A Joint Study on the Possibility of a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement found that an economic partnership agreement could boost Canada’s gross domestic product by $3.8 billion a year—equivalent to almost 30,000 new jobs or an increase of $325 to the average Canadian family’s annual income—and Japan’s GDP by up to $4.4 billion. The study also found that an agreement could increase Canadian exports to Japan by as much as 67 percent.

Minister Fast visits Hong Kong on April 13 and 14 to promote Canadian trade and investment interests, and then will travel to Harbin, Beijing and Tianjin from April 15 to 17.

This concludes Minister Fast’s third visits to Japan and China. Since being named international trade minister, Minister Fast has led several strategic and sector-focused trade missions, including ones to Brazil, Burma, China, India, Japan, the Middle East and Russia.

For more information on Minister Fast’s trade mission to China and Japan, go to Deepening Trade with Asia.

Photo: Minister Fast (centre), Minister Paradis (left) and Minister of State Wong (right) and the delegation of Canadian ICT companies conclude the trade mission to China and Japan. 

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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

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

Backgrounder - Trade Mission Participants

Representatives of the following companies accompanied the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) on their recent trade mission to China and Japan.

Cadens Imaging, Granby, Quebec

Calgary Scientific Inc., Calgary, Alberta

Claron Technology Inc., Toronto, Ontario

ClearCanvas Inc., Toronto, Ontario

ColorShadow Communications Inc., Toronto, Ontario

Communications & Power Industries Canada Inc., Georgetown, Ontario

Compusult Limited, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador

Content Interface Corporation, Toronto, Ontario

Creaform Shanghai Ltd., subsidiary of Creaform Inc., Lévis, Quebec

Karos Health Incorporated, Waterloo, Ontario

Muprime Technology Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia

North Plains, Toronto, Ontario

Novawise Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia

QNX Software Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of BlackBerry, Ottawa, Ontario

VideoLAtitude, Montréal, Quebec