Hello. I’m Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade.
I want to reaffirm that our government’s top priority remains the creation of jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.
One of the important ways we’re doing this is by opening up new markets around the world for our exporters. This effort is part of the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canada's history.
With one in five jobs and over 60 percent of our annual GDP generated by trade, we know that forging new and deeper trade and investment ties in key markets is one of the best ways to spur economic growth.
By actively pursuing these opportunities, we are providing Canadian businesses and workers with preferred access to the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing economies in the world.
Our pro-trade plan includes a 21st century gold-standard free trade agreement presently under negotiation with the countries of the European Union.
The EU market – with 500 million people and annual economic activity of over $17 trillion – holds significant opportunities for Canadian businesses and their workers.
In fact, a Canada-EU trade agreement is projected to boost bilateral trade by 20%, and annually inject an extra $12 billion into Canada’s economy.
That's the equivalent of almost 80,000 new jobs, or an extra $1,000/year for the average Canadian family.
The benefits of a trade agreement with the EU would be widespread and would stimulate the economy in every single region of our country.
There is also no doubt that a successful Canada-EU free trade agreement would give Canadian businesses a serious competitive edge in the single largest market in the world.
As Minister of International Trade, I invite all of you to join me in supporting our efforts to reach beyond our borders for economic opportunities. In so doing, we ensure the long term prosperity of Canadians.