Address by Minister Van Loan to G-20 Young Entrepreneur Summit

No. 2010/47 - Toronto, Ontario - June 22, 2010

Check Against Delivery

It’s a pleasure to be here among so many young entrepreneurs, from Canada and around the world. I’d especially like to welcome our many visitors to Canada and to the great city of Toronto.

Through your participation in this event, you’re helping to inform the dialogue of the G-20 Business Summit.

And through your success as entrepreneurs, you’re helping to shape the future of the global economy.

You understand better than most the important role played by businesses in creating jobs and opportunities for people in communities around the world.

The link is clear. Successful economies need successful businesses, large and small. And it’s people like you that build this success.

But Canada also believes that the success of our businesses at home is very much tied to their success abroad. We’ve learned this through our history.

Because of our small population, we’ve long relied on selling our resources, manufactured goods, services and products to other countries. We’ve learned that the best way to do this is through free trade, making it as easy as possible for our businesses to sell to and buy from our trading partners.

This means negotiating market access, lifting barriers to trade and encouraging the free flow of resources, goods, services and products across our borders.

Time has proven that this approach works. Look at our great success with North American free trade, for example. It’s created jobs and benefits not only for Canada but also for our partners in Mexico and the United States.

Inspired by this great success, Canada is now moving forward with an ambitious agenda of trade negotiations with countries around the world.

This includes our most significant set of trade negotiations since those of the North American Free Trade Agreement; I’m talking about our negotiations with the European Union toward a comprehensive economic and trade agreement.

But Canada is by no means alone in opening new doors of opportunity for businesses. It’s something that’s happening around the world.

Look at the rise of Asian economies like China and India—economies powered by trade and investment.

Look also at the European Union, another great example of neighbours breaking down economic barriers and creating an increasingly united platform for business.

And look at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—a rising economic star of 592 million people.

These successes prove the power of free and open trade.

Today, as never before, our countries need more trade, more investment and more partnerships as we work toward a lasting economic recovery that will benefit everyone.

This commitment to free trade and economic cooperation will be at the heart of Canada’s message to the world during the G-20 Summit.

At the Summit, leaders will need to deliver on their commitments to restore the health of the global economy and lay the foundation for sustainable and balanced growth.

We’ll also work to strengthen the global financial system and support the global fight against trade protectionism.

But governments can’t do it alone. We’re counting on the energy and leadership of the global business community.

That includes you—the entrepreneurs and business visionaries of tomorrow. We need your support and advice as we go forward.

So let’s work together to create the success we all rely on. And let’s build a strong, prosperous global economy that will benefit everyone.

Thank you.