Canada’s pro-trade plan: Helping Canadian companies succeed abroad to create jobs and prosperity at home
August 15, 2012 – The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), will lead a trade mission to Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince from September 2 to 7, 2012.
“Our government’s top priority is the economy—creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families,” said Minister Fast. “Trade missions are instrumental to job creation and prosperity because they showcase the strengths and expertise of Canadian companies and open doors to opportunities abroad in markets that need Canadian experience, capabilities and know-how.”
“Our government is committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises access new markets and become more competitive,” said Minister Valcourt. “I am pleased to lead a trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where I intend to showcase Canadian expertise, services and products to a wide range of industry leaders, decision makers and potential clients and business partners, particularly in the infrastructure and agri-food sectors.”
The Harper government’s approach to trade missions is to lead strategically focused, sector-specific missions to countries that offer Canada the greatest potential for growth and success.
Twenty organizations, primarily from the infrastructure and agri-food sectors, will be participating in the trade mission. They include LED Roadway Lighting, which also participated in the trade mission that Minister Fast led to Brazil in June 2011. LED Roadway Lighting will make an announcement in the Dominican Republic and is looking to the trade mission to open the door to new opportunities in that market.
“We have found the services of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada—including trade missions—to be invaluable when entering new markets,” said Chuck Cartmill, President of LED Roadway Lighting. “Participating in the trade mission to Brazil was instrumental to making inroads in that country. We expect this trade mission to open doors for us as well.”
With a gross domestic product of $56.1 billion, the Dominican Republic has the second-largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Modern ports and telecommunications infrastructure make the country a location of choice for companies seeking to expand operations or establish a base from which to service other markets in the Caribbean and Central America.
Canadian companies are well suited to the development needs of Haiti. With the third-largest population in the Caribbean, limited infrastructure, and high demand for goods, services, and investment, Haiti is well positioned for economic development and growth. The construction sector is one of the most dynamic sectors in Haiti. Apart from the large infrastructure and road maintenance projects undertaken by the government and financed for the most part by international financial institutions and the international community, there is constant demand for the inputs required in the construction of residences, shopping centres, telecommunications systems and manufacturing plants.
Canada is also committed to strong economic partnerships that will contribute to enhanced prosperity across the Americas. Increased business with Canada’s partners in the Americas can also have a positive impact on democratic and security issues.
In 2011, Canada’s merchandise exports to the Dominican Republic totalled $148.8 million, while merchandise imports totalled $148.5 million. That same year Canadian foreign direct investment in the Dominican Republic rose 7.2 percent from the year before to total $433 million. In 2011, merchandise exports to Haiti totalled $37.7 million and merchandise imports from that country totalled $25.7 million.
For more information on the trade mission, please visit Trade Mission to Dominican Republic and Haiti.