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Canada Consults On Pro-Trade Plan

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

21 August 2012

The Canadian government is consulting on improving its Global Commerce Strategy (GCS) in an effort to better align trade and investment objectives in large, dynamic and fast-growing priority markets.

The GCS was launched in 2007 with the aim of positioning Canada for long-term prosperity. It identified 13 priority markets around the world where opportunities for Canadian businesses and interests had the greatest potential for growth and success.

Under the GCS, the government has concluded new free trade agreements (FTAs) with nine countries, and begun deepening trade and investment ties with key markets. It has also completed or brought into force new foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with 11 countries and opened trade offices in the fast-growing priority markets of Brazil, China and India.

As part of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's most recent Budget, the government committed itself to "refresh" the CGS. The pledge was made following extensive consultations with key trade and investment stakeholders, including the business community, with a particular emphasis on small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

As a result of this pledge, a number of consultations are now being held throughout Canada. The first meetings took place in Halifax last week, and will be followed by sessions in Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa over the coming weeks.

Launching the consultations, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, said: “Our government’s top priority is the economy. I am looking forward to the valuable contributions all stakeholders from across Canada will bring to these consultations, which will in turn help us develop the next phase of our ambitious pro-trade plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.”

The next phase of the GCS will be announced in 2013.

TAGS: business | agreements | Canada | trade

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