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Minister Fast Concludes Successful Trade Mission to Africa

Harper government committed to helping open new markets to Canadian exporters in high-growth Africa, Minister says

February 1, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a successful infrastructure and extractive-sector focused trade mission to fast-growing sub-Saharan Africa—his first trade mission of 2013. Minister Fast was accompanied by representatives of nearly 30 companies and organizations from across Canada.

“Opening new markets to increase Canadian exports is key to our government’s focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “That is why our trade missions focus on specific sectors where Canadian businesses have established expertise and where there is the greatest chance for success. Thanks to missions like these, Canadian companies are well-placed to take advantage of opportunities in fast-growing Africa.”

In addition to meeting with his key counterparts and many of Nigeria’s and Ghana’s top political leaders, Minister Fast promoted and celebrated numerous Canadian success stories, including Corvus Energy Ltd., IMW Industries and Bombardier Inc.

“Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service is truly a valuable resource for companies like IMW Industries as it enters and establishes new markets around the world,” said David Gamble, Director of Sales and Marketing, IMW Industries, which is headquartered in Chilliwack, British Columbia. “The international marketplace is a complex and dynamic landscape for companies, and it is vital to have experienced resources on the ground to further Canada’s trade and investments. IMW Industries is a proven example of international success; the results it achieved in Nigeria from Canada’s first trade mission in 2013 to Africa illustrate that.”

Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries reached nearly $2.7 billion. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ghana reached almost $322 million in 2011, up more than 60 percent over 2010, with Canadian exports making up a healthy $266 million of that total.

“As world-class corporate citizens committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with developing countries, Canadian companies are helping bring greater prosperity to our friends throughout Africa,” said Minister Fast. “The future is bright for Canada’s engagement with Africa, and our government is committed to continuing to build on our successes to date.”

Since being named international trade minister, Minister Fast has led several strategic and sector-focused trade missions, including those to the Middle East, Brazil, India, China, Burma and Russia.

For more information, see Minister Fast’s trade mission to Africa.

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A backgrounder follows.

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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder – Growing the Canada-Africa Partnership

Thanks to its pro-trade leadership, Canada has one of the most open and globally engaged economies in the world. Canada is committed to deepening its trade and investment ties in sub-Saharan Africa, relationships that will be critical to the prosperity of Canadians and Africans alike. To that end, Canada is advancing trade initiatives on a number of fronts.