Minister Fast Leads Trade Mission to Africa
OTTAWA, Canada, June 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ten-day, four-country trade mission to boost Canada's trade and investment ties in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, South Africa and Tanzania
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today travelled to Burkina Faso for his first visit as part of a trade mission to Africahis third since being appointed trade ministerto strengthen Canada's economic ties with the continent.
Minister Fast will be in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from June 18 to 19; in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from June 20 to 21; in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, from June 22 to 25; and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from June 25 to 27, 2014.
Joining the trade mission to South Africa and Tanzania are 26 delegates from 19 organizations. The mission will focus on the extractives (mining, oil and gas) and energy (power, renewables) sectors.
Minister Fast also welcomed the recent formation of the Canada Africa Power Alliance (CAPA). CAPA will be represented at the Africa Energy Summit in Istanbul this week. CAPA aims to help African countries meet their growing power needs while increasing the presence of Canadian companies in the African power sector.
Burkina Faso, Madagascar, South Africa and Tanzania are all priority markets under Canada's Global Markets Action Plan.
Canada is the largest foreign investor in Burkina Faso and recently concluded the Canada-Burkina Faso Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA).Canada concluded, signed or brought into force FIPAs with 10 countries in 2013a record for a single year. Seven of these were with African countries: Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
In Africa, Canada has FIPAs in force with Benin, Egypt and Tanzania and is currently engaged in FIPA negotiations with Ghana, Kenya and Tunisia. Canada currently has 27 FIPAs in force around the world.
South Africa is Canada's largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, with two-way merchandise trade totalling $1.2 billion in 2013. Also in 2013, Canada's merchandise exports to Burkina Faso were worth $50.7 million; to Madagascar, $22 million; to South Africa, $468 million; and to Tanzania, $76.1 million.
Minister Fast previously led trade missions in Africa to Libya, Nigeria and Ghana.
'Strengthening trade and investment ties and opening new markets to boost our exports in Africa and around the world are part of our government's ambitious pro-trade plan to create jobs and opportunities for hardworking Canadians as well as businesses. Through sector-focused trade missions and with the support of our Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, we are helping Canadian companies, especially SMEs, explore new opportunities, diversify their markets and compete and win on the global stage.'
- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade