PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER CONCLUDES TRADE FOCUSED VISIT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
September 3, 2014 London, United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Office
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today concluded a productive official visit toLondon, United Kingdom (U.K.). The visit is part of a broader trip to the U.K., which will also see the Prime Minister travelling to Wales to participate in the 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, from September 4 to 5.While in London, Prime Minister Harper had fruitful discussions with Canadian and British business leaders on how to further promote trade and investment opportunities between the two countries, including through the historic Canada-European Union (EU) Trade Agreement. The Agreement will give Canadian companies preferential access to the largest market in the world.
The Prime Minister also participated in various parts of a bilateral trade mission to the U.K. being led by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, including a question and answer session on economic and trade issues as well as a business roundtable. He used the meetings with key U.K. business leaders and Canadian business delegation members to highlight the many opportunities that will be created by the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, and to promote Canada as a premier trade and investment partner. Members of the Canadian business delegation included representatives from a broad range of sectors such as agri-food and seafood, life sciences, and information and communications technologies.
ï Canada and the U.K. enjoy excellent and long-standing bilateral relations enhanced by strong cooperation in international fora including the Commonwealth, the G-7, the G-20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
ï The U.K. is Canada’s third-largest destination for exports and fifth-largest trade partner after the United States, China, Mexico, and Japan. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and the U.K. reached $22.5 billion in 2013, and the U.K. is Canada’s third most important source of foreign direct investment which totalled over $56 billion in 2013.
ï This visit marks Prime Minister Harper’s fifth visit to the U.K. since Prime Minister Cameron took office in spring 2010. The Prime Minister last visited London in June 2013, on his way to the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland.
ï On August 5, 2014, Canada and the EU announced that officials have reached an agreement on the complete text for the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. Once in force, the Agreement will provide Canada with preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and to its annual $17 trillion in economic activity.
ï According to a joint study conducted with the EU, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 per cent, which is equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian family’s annual income by $1,000.
“I had productive discussions in London with Canadian and British business leaders on how to bring our commercial relations to the next level. During our discussions, we emphasized the many new opportunities provided by the Canada-EU Trade Agreement for both countries.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper