Marking 20 years of free trade with Chile, Minister Champagne makes the case for progressive trade throughout the Pacific regionThursday, March 16, 2017 > 12:07:30
Canada is committed to securing preferential market access for Canadian workers, producers and consumers, including in Asia-Pacific economies. Securing the right conditions for international trade and investment creates jobs and opportunities for Canada’s middle class to grow and prosper.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, today wrapped up three days of meetings in Chile, where he reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to its commercial relationship with Chile, its involvement with the Pacific Alliance and its interest in pursuing preferential access to the growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
In Santiago, the Minister participated in meetings with leaders from civil society, UN Women, business and government and delivered remarks to the Canada-Chile Chamber of Commerce and participated in a round table with Canadian business leaders on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility, particularly focused on engagement with Indigenous communities and gender equality. In his remarks to the Chamber of Commerce, Minister Champagne highlighted the Government of Canada’s progressive trade agenda, which puts the middle class at the heart of trade negotiations, the economy and our social and environmental policy priorities.
Minister Champagne also marked the 20th anniversary of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), which has helped Canadian and Chilean companies grow and create jobs. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Chile has tripled since the CCFTA came into force.
Minister Champagne was also Canada’s representative during the High-Level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific Region, which was held in Viña del Mar. The meeting, which was hosted by Chile as president pro tempore of the Pacific Alliance, brought together countries of the Asia-Pacific region to discuss regional integration and free trade initiatives that can help grow economies and create more opportunities for producers, consumers and workers throughout this burgeoning and high-growth region.
Tomorrow, the Minister will travel to Mexico City, where he will reaffirm Canada’s commitment to free and open trade with Mexico.
“Canada and Chile made a commitment 20 years ago to bilateral trade, and the success and longevity of our agreement is a testament to the value that free trade agreements like this bring to the middle-class citizens of our countries.
“What is paramount for me as international trade minister is to make sure that Canadian producers, consumers and workers have preferential market access to the very important economies in Asia Pacific.”
- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade
-The 1997 CCFTA was Canada’s first free trade agreement with a South American country.
-Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Chile was $2.4 billion in 2016. In addition, there was more than $300 million in trade in professional services.
-At the end of 2015, Canadian direct investment in Chile stood at more than $15 billion, making it Canada’s top direct investment destination in South and Central America.
-Canada became the first non-Latin American observer to the Pacific Alliance in 2012. The signing of the Joint Declaration on a Partnership between Canada and the Members of the Pacific Alliance in June 2016 demonstrates the strength of our relationship and positions Canada as a privileged partner.|