By Helena Kaufman :On August 17, 2010 Afro News was present at the announcement to local ethnic media by The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade of the $2.3 million in funds from the 2010-2011 Global Opportunities for Associations Program.
The 30 Canadian recipient associations will use the funds to help the businesses and industries they represent to compete globally. It is expected that their growth will help Canadian business associations attract foreign direct investment and ultimately create jobs and prosperity for Canadians.
The Minister detailed an aggressive free trade agenda with negotiations in process or concluded with Colombia, Jordan, Panama, and Peru. India, China and the Pacific countries are also part of the new marketing mix with a deal with the European Union pending which once ratified, would make Canada the only developed country to have free trade agreements with both the USA and EU and its 27 countries.
The Afro News’ Honore Gbedze noted that no mention of initiatives with Africa, or with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat was made in Canada’s “attract, retain and expand” campaign.
Minister Loan responded that Africa’s international leadership role is recognized and Canada is strengthening its interest in the sectors of transportation, infrastructure, mining and financial services.
At this time, Canada is ahead of target for economic recovery pegged at 2016 for most industrialized countries, although two thirds of the country’s economy is dependant on international trade and 70% of that is comprised of continued trade with the USA.