Harper government committed to helping open new markets to Canadian exporters in high-growth Africa, Minister says
February 1, 2013 – The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a successful infrastructure and extractive-sector focused trade mission to fast-growing sub-Saharan Africa—his first trade mission of 2013. Minister Fast was accompanied by representatives of nearly 30 companies and organizations from across Canada.
“Opening new markets to increase Canadian exports is key to our government’s focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “That is why our trade missions focus on specific sectors where Canadian businesses have established expertise and where there is the greatest chance for success. Thanks to missions like these, Canadian companies are well-placed to take advantage of opportunities in fast-growing Africa.”
In addition to meeting with his key counterparts and many of Nigeria’s and Ghana’s top political leaders, Minister Fast promoted and celebrated numerous Canadian success stories, including Corvus Energy Ltd., IMW Industries and Bombardier Inc.
“Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service is truly a valuable resource for companies like IMW Industries as it enters and establishes new markets around the world,” said David Gamble, Director of Sales and Marketing, IMW Industries, which is headquartered in Chilliwack, British Columbia. “The international marketplace is a complex and dynamic landscape for companies, and it is vital to have experienced resources on the ground to further Canada’s trade and investments. IMW Industries is a proven example of international success; the results it achieved in Nigeria from Canada’s first trade mission in 2013 to Africa illustrate that.”
Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries reached nearly $2.7 billion. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ghana reached almost $322 million in 2011, up more than 60 percent over 2010, with Canadian exports making up a healthy $266 million of that total.
“As world-class corporate citizens committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with developing countries, Canadian companies are helping bring greater prosperity to our friends throughout Africa,” said Minister Fast. “The future is bright for Canada’s engagement with Africa, and our government is committed to continuing to build on our successes to date.”
Since being named international trade minister, Minister Fast has led several strategic and sector-focused trade missions, including those to the Middle East, Brazil, India, China, Burma and Russia.
For more information, see Minister Fast’s trade mission to Africa.
Backgrounder – Growing the Canada-Africa Partnership
Thanks to its pro-trade leadership, Canada has one of the most open and globally engaged economies in the world. Canada is committed to deepening its trade and investment ties in sub-Saharan Africa, relationships that will be critical to the prosperity of Canadians and Africans alike. To that end, Canada is advancing trade initiatives on a number of fronts.
• In January 2013, Canada announced that it had concluded air transport agreements with Gambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Under the Blue Sky Policy, Canada also concluded air agreements with Senegal in October 2012, with Ethiopia in 2010 and with South Africa in 2009. These agreements provide travellers and shippers with more choice and convenience.
• Canada concluded air agreements with Tunisia and Ethiopia in March 2010 and with South Africa in August 2009. These agreements allow for scheduled, direct air services, code-sharing air services and flexible pricing arrangements.
• On January 8, 2013, Prime Minister Harper announced the signing of the Canada-Benin Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) during a visit to Ottawa by Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi. Canada recently concluded FIPA negotiations with Madagascar, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. Canada is also in active FIPA negotiations with Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tunisia and Zambia.
• Also on January 8, Prime Minister Harper announced further support to help African countries manage their natural resources responsibly and transparently.
• On October 14, 2012, the Prime Minister announced $20 million over four years in new support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility. The support, which was announced in Kinshasa on the margins of the 14th Francophonie Summit, will help developing countries manage their natural resource industries in a responsible and transparent manner.
• On October 12, 2012, during an official visit to Senegal, Prime Minister Harper announced new initiatives to strengthen cooperation with Senegal.
• In October 2012, Minister Baird and Olugbenga Ashiru, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a commitment to initiate discussions toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Canada and Nigeria.
• In November 2011, Canada appointed a new regional senior trade commissioner with exclusive responsibility for providing commercial services in Angola.
• On October 27, 2011, Prime Minister Harper announced the creation of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development. This initiative builds on Canada’s leadership in the mining sector to support and build natural-resource management capacity in developing countries.
• On July 6 2010, Prime Minister Harper announced the Government of Canada’s support for the Next Einstein Initiative, which will create a network of 15 centres of academic excellence across Africa in fields related to science and technology.
• In March 2010, Canada and Namibia signed a double taxation agreement, which is a solid step toward strengthening the countries’ bilateral relationship. Canada has double taxation agreements in force with Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.