Harper Government Continues to Advance Canadian Prosperity and Interests Throughout Fast-Growing Asia-Pacific Region

Minister Fast’s ninth visit to Asia in less than two years is part of Canada’s focus on opening new markets and creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of the country

April 21, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today wrapped up a successful visit to Asia by playing an active role at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia.

“Our government is focused on the priorities of Canadians: creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of Canada,” said Minister Fast. “That is why we are working hard to open new markets to increase Canadian exports, as well as grow our investment ties in high-growth markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

This is Minister Fast’s ninth visit to Asia in less than two years. At the APEC meeting, Minister Fast outlined the agenda Canada would like to see pursued by the next director-general of the World Trade Organization. Before attending the APEC meeting, Minister Fast and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), led a trade mission to China and Japan and also advanced Canada’s interests during a visit to Hong Kong.

On the margins of the APEC meeting, Minister Fast held productive bilateral discussions with many of Canada’s key trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region, including Brunei, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. He also promoted Canada’s economic interests during discussions with his counterparts in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“As a country at the forefront of trade liberalization, our government—led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper—continues to position Canada as a world leader in opposing protectionism, urging freer and more open trade and encouraging like-minded countries to focus on achieving real and practical results,” said Minister Fast. “To that end, we are continuing to pursue the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our nation’s history while vigorously defending and advancing Canadian interests.”

Opportunities in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region are significant for Canadian exporters from many of Canada’s key economic sectors. Asia-Pacific countries represent huge markets and great economic opportunities. The value of total two-way merchandise trade between Canada and APEC countries grew from $374.6 billion in 1994 to $747.7 billion in 2012, an average annual growth rate of about 3.9 percent. Last year, the value of Canada’s bilateral trade with China alone reached a record $70 billion, with merchandise exports growing by 15 percent. China has now surpassed the United Kingdom to become Canada’s second-largest export destination, after the United States.

For more information about the outcome of the APEC ministerial meeting, please visit 2013 Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade and Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trading System and WTO 9th Ministerial Conference.

For more information about the Canada-Japan economic partnership agreement, please visit Deeper Trade with World’s Third-Largest Economy Would Create Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity for Canadians.

For more information about Minister Fast’s visit to Asia, please visit Deepening Trade with Asia.

Minister Fast Attends APEC Trade Ministers Meeting

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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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