Canadian businesses have been challenged to seize the opportunities that more trade and investment with emerging markets in Africa offer.
Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said increased trade and investment is transforming countless lives and communities across Africa by creating jobs and generating economic growth in Canada and African countries alike.
“We are committed to opening new markets for our exporters and ensuring that Canadian companies take advantage of the opportunities our ambitious pro-trade, pro-export plan creates for them,” said.
He added that Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and sector-focused trade missions, along with trade commissioners and close cooperation with Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, are part of the support Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are getting as they grow, expand and succeed around the world.
Fast was speaking during the Canada-Africa Business Summit in Toronto where he pointed to the long-standing trade, investment, development, education and cultural ties between Canada and African countries that continue to foster economic success. The country’s bilateral trade with Africa was $13.3 billion in 2013.
According to Fast, Canada’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development is an important element of the country’s engagement with Africa.
This includes supporting the Canadian extractive sector in its responsible and transparent operations in Africa and working with host countries to develop capacities to manage their natural resources.
During his trade mission to Africa in June, Fast announced that Export Development Canada is expanding its presence in Johannesburg, South Africa, providing on-the-ground support in southern Africa and assisting Canadian businesses, especially SMEs in boosting their exports.
Under the Global Markets Action Plan, Canada is committed to providing the tools to help businesses succeed, including free trade agreements, foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) and air transport agreements.
Canadian businesses can also count on the support of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Canadian Commercial Corporation and Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, with trade commissioners serving Canadian business needs in 16 African countries.
As part of its plan to promote and protect Canadian investments in sub-Saharan Africa, Canada has FIPAs in force with Benin and Tanzania, has signed agreements with Cameroon and Nigeria and has concluded negotiations with Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal and Zambia. FIPA negotiations are under way with Ghana and Kenya.
Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs