Minister Fast to Travel to Burma to Open Doors for Canadian Business

Visit to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties

Minister Fast tours the “Burma These Days” exhibit at The East Gallery in Toronto

July 25, 2012 -  East Gallery, Toronto - International Trade Minister Ed Fast today announced that he will travel to Burma in September to help open the door for Canadian trade and investment. He made the announcement during a visit to the “Burma These Days” exhibit at The East Gallery in Toronto, which features several leading contemporary artists from Rangoon.

“Canadians have long supported the struggle for democracy and freedom in Burma,” said Minister Fast. “Our government is committed to helping Burma on this path of reform and modernization—including its economic development.”

Minister Fast discussed opportunities for Canadian companies in Burma during a round table with Canadian businesses and think tanks in preparation for his upcoming visit to the emerging democracy. Minister Fast will be the first minister to visit Burma since Canada announced significant easing of sanctions. He will also be the first Canadian trade minister to visit Burma.

“Canada continues to be encouraged by the changes taking place in Burma. Just as Canada recently moved to broaden the relationship with Burma by announcing that we will open an embassy there, our government also believes that through cautious Canadian investment, Canada can help anchor and expand Burmese reforms while positioning our companies for future opportunities,” declared Minister Fast.

On April 24, 2012, Canada announced significant changes to its sanctions on Burma. Prohibitions on trade, investment and financial services have been eased. The changes to Canada’s sanctions create new opportunities for Canadians to engage in Burma, contributing to prosperity and economic development in both countries.

This visit further demonstrates the Harper government's commitment to deepening and strengthening Canada's trade and investment ties in the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo: Minister Fast (centre) and Yuen Pau Woo, chairman and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, (right) tour the “Burma These Days” exhibit at The East Gallery in Toronto with the gallery’s director, Andrew FitzGerald.

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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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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