Creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians to remain the focus in 2014
December 30, 2013, Ottawa, Ontario – International Trade Minister Ed Fast today took stock of the Harper government’s trade gains for hard-working Canadians during 2013, the most productive year for international trade and investment in Canada’s history.
Gains include reaching a historic Canada-European Union trade agreement, bringing into force or signing free trade agreements with three priority countries and concluding or bringing into force a record 10 foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs). The Harper government also unveiled Canada’s new Global Markets Action Plan, a comprehensive pro-trade and pro-investment plan that reflects the changing global landscape, focuses on core Canadian strengths, aligns Canada’s trade, development and foreign policy tools to advance commercial interests around the world, and sets concrete targets to grow the presence of Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets.
These gains will help create new jobs and opportunities for workers, businesses and exporters in every region of Canada—the top priority of the Harper government. In 2013, record results were achieved toward creating and maintaining good jobs and generating greater prosperity and financial security for hard-working Canadians and their families through trade.
Quick Facts for 2013
- The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion.
- Under a Canada-EU trade agreement, the number of countries with which Canada has free trade agreements will triple from 14 to 42, providing Canada free-trade access to more than half of the entire global marketplace.
- Under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the government will work with Canada’s SMEs to grow their export presence in emerging markets from 29 percent to 50 percent by 2018. GMAP also includes a new trade promotion plan that entrenches the concept of “economic diplomacy” by focusing government resources and services in order to maximize the success of Canada’s commercial interests in key foreign markets.
- Two-way merchandise trade has more than tripled since the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1997; it totalled almost $2.5 billion in 2012.
- More than 60 percent of Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product) and the jobs of one in five Canadians are directly linked to exports.
“2013 has been the most successful year for international trade in Canadian history. Besides reaching a historic agreement with the European Union, we also concluded, signed or brought into force foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with 10 countries this year, more than any other year in Canada’s history. Thanks to our government’s pro-export actions and pro-trade leadership, Canadian workers, businesses, exporters and investors are continuing to gain preferred access, a real competitive edge and greater protection in more markets around the world.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade