International Trade Minister attends the Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance in Colombia to pursue market opportunities for Canadian workers and their families

News Release

June 26, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening its growing ties with our Latin American partners, including the important trading bloc, the Pacific Alliance, through an open and progressive approach to trade and investment that will support growth, opportunities, and middle class jobs in both Canada and Latin America.

From June 27 to 29, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, will conduct his first official visit to Colombia, where he will meet with his counterparts, engage with a number of investors and other key stakeholders and mark Canada's rising place in Latin America by attending the Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance with observer states. At this meeting, Minister Champagne will engage his international counterparts on issues of common interest, especially the economic and social potential that awaits countries engaged in a more open and progressive trade agenda. 

In Bogota on June 27 and 28, Minister Champagne will hold bilateral meetings, including a roundtable discussion with key Canadian investors in Colombia to highlight the merits of Canada’s progressive approach to trade and investment and discuss Canada’s strategy regarding corporate social responsibility. The Minister will then take part in the Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance meeting with observer states in Cali on June 29.

Quotes

“With its growing middle class and open, market-driven economies, the Pacific Alliance offers immense potential for business partnerships that, in turn, will support inclusive growth in the Americas and help us deliver on our progressive trade agenda.”

“Canada enjoys close and growing trade and investment ties with Colombia. We are committed to pursuing a progressive approach to trade that will build on this relationship and foster real opportunities for the middle class in both our countries.

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative founded in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru aimed at fostering the free movement of goods, services, capital and people among member countries. 

  • In 2012, Canada became the first non-Latin American country to become an observer with the Pacific Alliance. Canada is also the only observer country with a joint declaration on partnership, which identifies six areas for cooperation, from trade to education and training to environment and climate change.

  • Canada’s total merchandise trade with the Pacific Alliance member countries reached a value of $48 billion in 2016. The four countries of the alliance account for more than 75% of Canada’s two-way trade with the whole Latin American region.

  • Canada has comprehensive free trade agreements with all four members of the Pacific Alliance.

  • Canada’s bilateral trade with Colombia reached a value of $1.6 billion in 2016, and two-way foreign direct investment stood at $3.7 billion at the end of 2016.

  • Exports to Colombia have primarily comprised cereals, pulses, fertilizers, paper and paper board, vehicles and machinery.

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