Minister Fast Marks New Canada-EU Partnership at Europe Day Celebrations

Deeper business-to-business ties between Canadian and European firms will create good jobs, economic growth and greater long-term prosperity for workers and families here at home

May 9, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today celebrated Europe Day by marking Canada’s entry into the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), an initiative that will provide Canadian businesses with a one-stop point of access for information, contacts and resources for business opportunities in the European market. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been named Canada’s lead organization in the EEN.

“Our government is focused on what matters to Canada’s world-class manufacturers and exporters: opening up new markets that create new business opportunities and new sources of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Fast. “That is why we are grateful to organizations like CME for rising to the challenge and making proactive efforts to help Canadian businesses take advantage of the new opportunities that stem from our trade and investment agreements, including our ongoing negotiations toward a comprehensive Canada-EU trade agreement.”

“Our partnership in the EEN will provide Canadian companies with critical linkages to find new customers, identify new technology partnership opportunities and grow their businesses,” said Jayson Myers, President and CEO of CME. “It’s an exciting initiative for CME—and Canada—to be a part of. Through the EEN, we can clearly see the immense scope of technology and business opportunities open to Canadian businesses in European markets. Our job will be to help link businesses together across the Atlantic.”

The EEN, a network of more than 600 business-support organizations located in 50 countries worldwide, is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized companies identify and take advantage of opportunities for international technology and business partnerships. The EEN has facilitated more than 13,000 partnerships since 2008. CME will be working with other business-support organizations across Canada to help Canadian companies find highly qualified partnership opportunities in Europe.

A joint study concluded that an ambitious trade agreement with the European Union would be of significant benefit to Canada, resulting in a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion increase in Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product). This translates to the equivalent of an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian household’s income or 80,000 new jobs.

“An ambitious agreement with the European Union would produce substantial gains in key sectors across every region of Canada, generating significant benefits for businesses, workers and their families,” said Minister Fast. “Lowering tariff barriers would provide better access to the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers and increase sales of world-class Canadian exports.”

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 $17 trillion. A comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) with the European Union is, by far, Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative to date, broader in scope than the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.

For more information on the CME-EEN partnership visit Enterprise Europe Network (Canada).

For more information on the CETA, visit Canada-EU Trade Agreement: Opening New Markets in Europe.

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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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