Premiers Release Strategy on the Global Economy; Plan trade mission to Asia

Premiers recognized that Asia represents a critical missing pillar in Canada’s trade and investment framework and called on the federal government to enhance access for goods, services and citizens between Canada and Asian markets with a high priority to China, India, Korea, Japan and Singapore.

Currently, Canada has no trade agreements with Asia. The federal government must set a new and ambitious trade and liberalization agenda to guide Canada’s engagement with Asian countries. Premiers encourage the federal government to achieve the Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the participation of provinces and territories.

Reflecting the importance of two-way trade with Asia to Canada’s economic prosperity, the trade mission to Asia will focus on China and India and highlight key sectors of importance to provinces and territories. Building on the federal government’s commitment to work with the provinces and territories to advance an ambitious international trade agenda for Canada, Premiers invite the Prime Minister to join them in making this important mission a success.

Premiers noted that this year has been designated as the Year of India in Canada by the Government of India with activities taking place in several provinces. This initiative offers Canadians an opportunity to know more about India, its diversity, its culture, traditions and future. Such initiatives build bridges and enhance relationships and understanding between India and all parts of Canada and illustrate Canada’s place in the world as a globally significant market.

Canada in the Global Economy stresses the importance of taking advantage of the Beyond the Border Working Group and the Regulatory Cooperation Council to improve upon the mature trade, economic and energy relationship between Canada and the US. Premiers believe that provinces and territories need to have active and meaningful participation in this important initiative. Premiers will continue their discussion on Canada-US Relations when they meet with Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, immediate past chair of the National Governors Association, and Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States.

Premiers discussed progress on the negotiations with the European Union to complete a Canada/EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). An ambitious agreement would enhance Canada’s access to the European market. A joint Canada- EU study estimates that by 2014, there will be a positive economic impact of $12 billion for Canada (0.77% of GDP) and $18 billion for the EU. In recognition that many of the areas covered by the CETA would potentially be under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the federal government has supported the direct participation of provinces and territories in the international negotiations. Premiers stressed the importance of provincial and territorial participation in international trade negotiations affecting areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. Premiers support concluding the CETA negotiations by 2012.