Canadian Small Business Mission to Leverage Free Trade Agreement With Colombia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Aug. 11, 2014) – Industry Canada

Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), and Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, are leading a delegation of Canadian small business representatives on a two-day trade mission in Bogota today and tomorrow.

During the mission, which marks the third anniversary of the coming into force of the Canada-Colombia FreeTrade Agreement, Minister of State Bernier will meet with high-level government officials and key business leaders in order to help a delegation of Canadian SME representatives strengthen commercial ties with Colombia, a fast-growing economy. This mission will allow the government to gain additional insights from delegates and Canadian companies currently operating in Colombia, as well as highlight the importance of free trade for economic growth.

Increasing the profile of Canadian companies in promising international markets strengthens Canada’s commitment to free trade and long-term prosperity. Colombia is a focus country under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, and Canada remains committed to development assistance through humanitarian and local initiatives. Colombia’s stable macroeconomic fundamentals will promote sustainable economic growth in the region.

Quick facts

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— The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement came into force on August 15,

2011.

— The trade agreement with Colombia benefits Canadian workers and

businesses across the country and many sectors of the Canadian economy,

including agriculture (wheat, pulses, barley), paper products, heavy

equipment, investment, mining, oil exploration, printing and education.

— Colombia is a strategic destination for Canadian direct investment and a

dynamic emerging market with a population of 48 million and an economy

with high growth potential.

— Colombia is Canada’s fifth largest export market in Latin America.

— Canada’s merchandise exports to Colombia totalled $714.3 million in

2013.

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Quotes

“Canada can be proud of its world-class companies, and showcasing their strengths in foreign markets is essential to building their international profile. Canadian SMEs are key drivers of our economy, and by promoting their entrepreneurial and innovative nature abroad, we can continue to create jobs, growth and prosperity at home.”

-Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture)

“Opening new markets and providing on-the-ground support through trade missions for hard-working Canadians and businesses is our priority to create jobs and opportunities in every region of our country.”

-Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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Contact Information:

Laurence Gagnon d’Entremont

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of State

(Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture)

613-943-6183

Media Relations

Industry Canada

613-943-2502

Shannon Gutoskie

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of International Trade

613-992-7332

Media Relations Office

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

343-203-7700

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