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Canada Announces Trade Mission To Dominican Republic, Haiti

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

21 August 2012


The Canadian government is to carry out a trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti next month, where ministers intend to showcase Canadian expertise, services and products.

The mission will be led by Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). He will be joined by twenty organizations, primarily from the infrastructure and agri-food sectors. The trip will take place from September 2-7.

The government’s approach to trade missions is to lead strategically focused, sector-specific missions to countries that offer Canada the greatest potential for growth and success.

The Dominican Republic has the second-largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Canada regards it as a location of choice for companies seeking to expand operations or establish a base from which to service other markets in the Caribbean and Central America.

In addition, the government believes Canadian companies to be well suited to the development needs of Haiti. It hopes to capitalize on Haiti's infrastructure and road maintenance projects, and recognizes a demand for the construction of residences, shopping centres, telecommunications systems and manufacturing plants.

In 2011, Canada’s merchandise exports to the Dominican Republic totalled CAD148.8m, while merchandise imports reached CAD148.5m. Canadian foreign direct investment also rose, by 7.2% to CAD433m. Merchandise exports to Haiti were worth CAD37.7m last year, and imports CAD25.7m.

Announcing the mission, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, said: “Our government’s top priority is the economy—creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families. Trade missions are instrumental to job creation and prosperity because they showcase the strengths and expertise of Canadian companies and open doors to opportunities abroad in markets that need Canadian experience, capabilities and know-how.”

Valcourt added: “Our government is committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises access new markets and become more competitive. I am pleased to lead a trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where I intend to showcase Canadian expertise, services and products to a wide range of industry leaders, decision makers and potential clients and business partners, particularly in the infrastructure and agri-food sectors.”

Canada is also looking to deepen its trade and economic relationship with China. Fast recently released the findings of a working group appointed to study key sectors where the two economies are complementary, and where there is the greatest potential for further growth.

The report identifies a number of important “complementarities” and prospects for growth. It also points to the need to address certain challenges to best take advantage of these complementarities.

TAGS: Haiti | business | food | manufacturing | Canada | Dominica | Dominican Republic | construction | trade | services

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