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Deeper Canada-Russia trade and investment ties promise win-win benefits for workers in both countries, Minister says
June 6, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today marked Canada’s 70 years of diplomatic relations with Russia while leading a trade mission of nearly 30 companies there.
“As we celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations, and, in 2015, 100 years of trade relations, we look forward to deepening and broadening our trade and investment ties for many years to come,” said Minister Fast. “Russia is a priority for Canada as we look to open new markets in fast-growing regions to create jobs and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians.”
Trade between Canada and Russia has intensified over the last decade, reflecting Russia’s emergence as a major global economy. Bilateral merchandise trade expanded to nearly $2.8 billion in 2011 from about $620 million in 2002.
“Given the vast potential of this market, I am committed to growing Canada’s commercial presence here in Russia,” said Minister Fast. “That is why I am leading a strategically focused, sector-specific trade mission as we seek to create new opportunities around the world for Canadian workers and businesses.”
A key forum for Canada-Russia commercial and economic cooperation is the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (IEC), which Minister Fast co-chairs. Since last year’s IEC meeting in Ottawa, the two countries have launched several projects in agriculture, started negotiations toward a bilateral space cooperation treaty and explored opportunities under a science and technology cooperation statement. The next IEC session is to be held in Moscow in 2013.
Canada expects that Russia’s modernization agenda and its upcoming membership in the World Trade Organization will serve to further strengthen the bilateral trading relationship with Russia.
In his bilateral meetings today, Minister Fast highlighted the importance that an upgraded and modernized foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) would play in further deepening the bilateral investment relationship between Canada and Russia.
“Upgrading and strengthening our FIPA with Russia would create a transparent, predictable and stable investment climate that would inspire greater investor confidence and ultimately lead to more prosperity-generating Canadian investment.”
For more information on Minister Fast’s trade mission to Russia, consult Minister Fast Visits Russia.
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A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Over the last few years, Canada and Russia have strengthened their partnership and collaboration through a number of initiatives. For example:
Canada and Russia share many similarities—including climate, geography and abundant natural resources—which means there are significant opportunities for Canadian and Russian companies in various sectors. For example: