August 11, 2014 – Bogotá, Colombia – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), are leading a trade mission from August 10 to 15 to Colombia and Peru, with a special focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ministers will be accompanied by representatives of 19 organizations from the extractive, defence and security sectors.
Ministers Fast and Bernier will take part in meetings and discussions with Colombian ministers, government officials and members of the business community in Bogotá, Colombia, from August 10 to 13.
Minister Fast will continue the trade mission to Lima, Peru, from August 13 to 15.
August marks the third anniversary of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and the fifth anniversary of the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Both Colombia and Peru are experiencing high economic growth and are looking to Canadian companies for their expertise and innovative practices to help them continue that growth.
Colombia and Peru have been identified as priority markets under Canada’s recently released Global Markets Action Plan, as well as development countries of focus under Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda. Both are members of the Pacific Alliance, to which Canada is an observer member.
- Two-way trade between Canada and the Americas reached $57 billion in 2013.
- Peru is Canada’s second-largest economic partner in Latin America, with two-way trade amounting to nearly $3.7 billion in 2013.
- Colombia is Canada’s fifth-largest export market in Latin America, with two-way trade valued at $1.4 billion in 2013.
- Canada has seven free trade agreements with partner countries in the Americas: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
“Opening new markets and providing on the ground support through trade missions for hard-working Canadians and businesses is our priority. Free trade agreements with both Colombia and Peru offer new opportunities and are part of our government’s commitment to provide Canadian businesses with the tools they need to succeed in markets around the world.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
“Canada can be proud of its world-class companies, and showcasing their strengths in foreign markets is essential to building their international profile. Canadian SMEs are key drivers of our economy, and by promoting their entrepreneurial and innovative nature abroad, we can continue to create jobs, growth and prosperity at home.”
– Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture)