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Minister Fast Celebrates 20 Years of Trade Commissioner Service in South Africa / Strengthening commercial ties with South Africa a Global Markets Action Plan priority

By Canada - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, June 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, wrapped up the three-day South African leg of his trade mission to Africa together with his 19-member delegation, by celebrating 20 years of the Trade Commissioner Service's presence on the ground. During this first visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, Minister Fast highlighted Canada's commitment to deepening commercial ties with the announcement of a new EDC office and the relaunch of the Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business.

During a meeting with Rob Davies, South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Fast discussed Canada's interest in South Africa as a priority market for Canadian trade and investment. At the Renewable Energy and Mining Summit in Johannesburg, Minister Fast delivered remarks about Canadian companies' expertise and suitability as partners in the extractives and energy sectors. Canada helps to foster and promote sustainable development and responsible business practices in countries where Canadian extractive companies operate.

Minister Fast also highlighted a donation by SkyPower Global, a member of his trade mission, of solar-powered lights to children in poorer neighbourhoods of South Africa to facilitate studies at night.

Minister Fast is on a 10-day, four-country trade mission to boost Canada's trade and investment ties with Burkina Faso, Madagascar, South Africa and Tanzania.

Quick Facts

• Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and South Africa totalled nearly $1.2 billion in 2013.

• Top Canadian exports to South Africa in 2013 were machinery, electrical machinery and equipment, inorganic chemicals, precision and technical instruments, and pharmaceuticals.

• Key imports from South Africa in 2013 included precious stones and metals (gold), fruits and nuts, machinery and beverages.

• Under Canada's Global Markets Action Plan, mining, information and communication technologies, agriculture and processed foods, education, transportation and infrastructure sectors as areas in which Canadian companies may find opportunities to do business in South Africa.


“Opening markets, especially to our SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], to increase Canadian exports is key to our government's focus on creating jobs and opportunities under Canada's Global Markets Action Plan. I am pleased to lead a group of Canadian companies on this trade mission to South Africa and to help them make linkages that will generate new business opportunities.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade