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Canada Unveils International Trade Blueprint

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

06 December 2013

The Government is to "concentrate its efforts on markets that hold the greatest promise for Canadian business," the International Trade Minister has said.

Ed Fast last week unveiled the Government's "Global Action Plan," which sets out proposals for targeting three distinct types of markets. They are: emerging markets with broad Canadian interests; emerging markets with specific opportunities for Canadian businesses, and established markets with broad Canadian interests.

A new trade promotion program will aim at ingraining the concept of "economic diplomacy," by focusing government resources and services on maximizing the success of Canada's commercial interests. Trade policy tools will be prioritized toward initiatives that will yield the maximum economic benefits, and the Government will work with stakeholders to ensure that its work is in sync with business needs and is capable of adaptation, to meet changes in the global economy.

Sustained efforts will also be made to leverage Canada's position as the only G8 nation to have preferential access to the world's two largest markets – the European Union (EU) and the US.

In addition, the Plan outlines how the Government intends to work with Canada's small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, to grow its footprint in emerging markets. It targets sector growth of between 29 and 50 percent by 2018, the equivalent of an increase in the number of companies present in emerging markets from 11,000 to 21,000.

Fast said of the initiatives: "In a fiercely competitive global economy, Canada cannot be complacent. We must be more aggressive and effective than the intense competition we face as we advance Canada's commercial interests in key global markets.

"This new plan represents a sea change in the way Canada's diplomatic assets are deployed around the world, and in so doing, we are ensuring that the commercial success of Canadian firms and investors is entrenched as one of our core foreign policy objectives."

TAGS: tax | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | agreements | small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) | Canada | United States | trade | European Union (EU) | free trade zone | services | Europe

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