Minister Ng concludes successful virtual trade mission to France on exploring sustainable business opportunities

News release

April 1, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

As the Government of Canada continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic and work toward an inclusive and sustainable global economic recovery, it is helping Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs to start up, scale up, and access new markets.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, was joined by Isabelle Hudon, Ambassador of Canada to France, to wrap up a successful virtual trade mission (VTM) to France focused on the green economy and sustainable growth.

The  4-day mission drew over 300 delegates from over 250 Canadian companies. Participants engaged with experts in topics that included sustainable mobility, hydrogen technology, responsible goods and sustainable consumption, and information technology (IT) solutions for a green recovery, and took part in business-to-business networking opportunities. The historic trade mission featured a record number of women, Indigenous, and young entrepreneurs. Participants also learned how the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement can support their expansion into European markets.

During the VTM, Minister Ng met with Franck Riester, France’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, to discuss strengthening Canada and France’s trade relations, as well as both countries’ continued support for a rules-based international trading system that is fair, inclusive, and sustainable. Minister Ng also met with Cédric O, France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, with whom she discussed the path forward for trade between France and Canada in the sustainable technology sector.

Minister Ng closed the mission by inviting Canadian business representatives—especially women, Indigenous, and racialized entrepreneurs, as well as youth and members of the LGBTQ2+ community—to connect with Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service for access to funding and support programs, international opportunities, and its network of trade commissioners in more than 160 locations worldwide.


“By expanding opportunities for Canadian businesses in the French market in sectors such as information technology, sustainable mobility, hydrogen technology, and responsible goods and sustainable consumption, we are creating long-term sustainable growth, good jobs, and a stronger middle class. We need to continue to deepen our connections with different parts of the world, including our important and historic allies like France, to ensure that Canadian businesses, workers, and communities benefit from greater trade.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • Canada’s VTM to France is a part of Canada’s commitment to securing more opportunities for Canadian exporters and investors and connecting companies with the government support and funding they need to succeed in international markets.  

  • France is Canada’s ninth-largest merchandise trading partner. In 2020, bilateral trade between Canada and France was valued at $10.2 billion.

  • Canada was the first country in the world to have a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. In 2017, the government appointed the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to develop and lead a $125-million Canada-wide AI strategy.  

  • The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, launched in December 2020, aims to advance Canada’s position as a world-leading supplier of low-carbon and zero-emission hydrogen technology.  

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Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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