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Minister Fast Congratulates the Organizers of the Canada and Free Trade with Asia Conference

| September 24, 2013

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, offers his congratulations to the CIC Montreal Branch, the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, and the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for organizing the Canada and Free Trade with Asia: International Business Conference, which took place on September 24 in Montreal.

A Message from Canada’s Minister of International Trade

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to congratulate CIC Montreal, the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations and the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for organizing today’s event.

It is very timely that you organize a conference on Canada and Free Trade with Asia. We know that Asian markets offer great opportunities for Canadians. That’s why since being named trade minister, I have led numerous trade missions and visits to Asian countries to promote greater trade and investment ties.

We are currently working on several trade initiatives within Asia. For example, we are negotiating the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement which will deepen our relationship with Japan, the world’s third-largest national economy. We are also negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, a priority market for Canada.  And of course, our trade and investment relationship with China continues to grow.  In fact, China is now Canada’s second-largest export market after the United States.

On the regional front, Canada is participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, which offer the possibility to transform international trade and eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers alike.

Our Government understands the importance of trade and exports to our economy. Exports are responsible for one out of every five Canadian jobs. The prosperity of Canadians depends on the continued expansion beyond our borders into new markets that serve to grow Canada’s exports and investment. Asian countries offer tremendous opportunities for our dynamic Canadian companies to grow their exports.

In conclusion, I want you to know that conferences such as yours contribute to Canada’s success by underscoring the importance of trade to the creation of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.  Thank you for your efforts and enjoy the conference. 

The Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade