Canada enhancing its trade presence in Milan to support Canadian businesses in creating well-paying middle-class jobs

News release

May 23, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is increasing services and programs to Canadian entrepreneurs that allow them to expand and connect with new customers. Canadian companies of all sizes can capitalize on new export opportunities to grow their businesses and create good middle-class jobs at home.

Today, Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, announced that Global Affairs Canada is engaging with Italian authorities to establish a permanent trade office in Milan as part of its commitment to enhance Canada’s global trade presence. This office will help businesses take greater advantage of the economic opportunities in this dynamic region. Mr. Sorbara made the announcement at the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario’s Business Excellence Awards, held in Toronto.

Through agreements such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canadian businesses have gained unparalleled access to some of the world’s largest and influential markets, such as Milan.

Today’s announcement is part of the government’s commitment to increase the number of trade commissioners available to serve Canadian businesses in key overseas markets by investing $44.1 million over the next five years.

The Business Excellence Awards is an annual event that honours and celebrates the most outstanding, innovative leaders in business, science, academia and the cultural community. For the last 17 years, these awards have highlighted the incredible achievements of both individuals and businesses in Ontario’s Italian Canadian community.


“As the global economy becomes more competitive and interconnected, it is crucial that Canadian businesses of all sizes capitalize on opportunities in international markets. Expanding trade services in dynamic markets such as Milan helps connect Canadian companies to new markets and customers and creates new jobs for the middle class here at home.”

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

“The ties between Canada and Italy are strong under the leadership of this government. The establishment of a Milan trade office demonstrates the importance of the bilateral relationship for our government, and we expect to see further gains in trade. The economic significance is evident: our new trade deal with Europe has already resulted in a double-digit increase in trade.” 

-Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge

“The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario is extremely pleased by this announcement by the federal government because it enhances the business and trade relationship between Italy and Canada. Milan is one of the economic capitals in Europe, and the trade office has been due to reopen for a long time. We are looking forward to working closely with the Milan trade office.”

Corrado Paina, Executive Director, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario 

Quick facts

  • In 2018, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Italy was valued at $12 billion, making Italy Canada’s eighth-largest trading partner. 

  • CETA gives companies based in Canada unprecedented access to 28 countries, over half a billion consumers and a $23-trillion market.

  • Canadian companies are already benefiting from CETA. In 2018, Canada’s merchandise exports to the EU were valued at nearly $44.5 billion, an increase of $2.9 billion (7%) over that of 2017.

  • Canada benefits from preferential market access to an estimated 1.5 billion consumers through 14 trade agreements with 51 countries, which have a total combined GDP of US$50 trillion.

  • The 2018 Fall Economic Statement announced investments of $290 million over five years to help Canadian businesses export and grow and to strengthen the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and enhance the support it provides to Canadian exporters.

Associated links


Michael Jones
Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaTrade
Like us on Facebook: Canada’s international trade - Global Affairs Canada

Page details

Date modified: