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Minister Fast Meets with WTO Director-General Roberto Azev阣oThursday, October 09, 2014 > 13:11:02
(Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada)
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today met with Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
During the meeting, Minister Fast reiterated Canada’s disappointment with the failure to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), as agreed at the WTO’s Ninth Ministerial Conference. As a result, hard-working Canadians, stakeholders and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are being prevented from accessing the tremendous economic growth, jobs and opportunities that would have been generated by the successful implementation of the agreement.
Minister Fast and Director-General Azevêdo also discussed how to find ways to make the WTO work better and re-establish its credibility as an organization that advances trade liberalization around the world.
Minister Fast outlined Canada’s recently announced Global Markets Action Plan and the recent conclusion of the Canada-European Union and the Canada-South Korea trade agreements, which, once implemented, will provide Canada with free trade access to 43 countries, more than half the world’s economy. Building on these historic achievements, vigorous trade-promotion efforts and activities are being planned that will allow Canadian SMEs to realize their full export potential.
Minister Fast highlighted the importance of the Trade in Services Agreement, the Environmental Goods Agreement, and the Information Technology Agreement in providing increased trade access, as well as predictability and transparency, for Canadian companies.
- Canada is a trading nation: trade generates the equivalent of approximately 60 percent of our GDP and is responsible for one in five jobs in Canada.
- According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the TFA would reduce trade costs by as much as 15 percent, directly benefiting Canadian SMEs, for which red tape and delays at the border can be particularly burdensome. Studies suggest that implementing the TFA could boost world trade by more than $1 trillion, the world economy could grow by $960 billion and 21 million jobs could be created.
- In 2013, Canada exported almost $92.5 billion worth of services. Canada is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of engineering services and a significant exporter of services in several other sectors, including mining, finance and information technology.
“Canada remains committed to the WTO. At the same time, we will continue to provide trade liberalization leadership on the world stage and implement our pro-trade, pro-export plan under our Global Markets Action Plan.
“With last month’s historic achievements of the Canada-EU and the Canada-South Korea trade agreements, we are committed to continuing to provide the tools and the support to our SMEs so they can realize their full export potential, creating jobs and opportunities in every region of the country.
- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade