Parliamentary Secretary Virani shares highlights of trade visits to South Africa and Zambia
May 16, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Expanding trade relations with and investments in African countries is crucial to Canada’s global economic recovery, as is establishing trade partnerships in expanding economies and diversifying supply chains to ensure continued prosperity.
Today, Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, provided key take-aways from his trade visits to South Africa and Zambia, focusing on economic cooperation and trade diversification.
These visits followed the virtual trade mission of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, to Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and South Africa in February this year.
During the trade visits, Parliamentary Secretary Virani underscored how the Canada-Africa strategy for economic cooperation supports global investments and strengthens Canada’s role as a trusted partner of African companies, industry associations and governments.
In South Africa, Parliamentary Secretary Virani participated in the Mining Indaba conference, where he emphasized Canada’s commitment to responsible business conduct and sustainable mining, which is demonstrated by the recent launch of Canada’s new Responsible Business Conduct Strategy. The strategy reaffirms Canada’s expectation that Canadian companies contribute to sustainable development and support Canada’s commitments to human rights by integrating responsible business practices throughout their operations, including international supply chains. He also discussed Canada’s efforts to support a green recovery, noting how Canadian clean technologies and expertise can help provide energy security as countries throughout the continent grapple with the impacts of climate change and seek greener alternatives.
Throughout the trip, Parliamentary Secretary Virani also focused on advancing gender diversity and women’s empowerment in every sector. In Zambia, he highlighted Canada’s leadership in international development by noting the launch of the program, Her Time to Grow.
Her Time to Grow supports women’s entrepreneurial success in climate-resilient agriculture and food security. The program—which is currently unfolding not only in Zambia, but also in Ethiopia and Ghana—is a good example of how Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which is geared to promoting gender equity and empowering women and girls, is the most effective approach to eradicating poverty and building a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world.
“Canada is committed to working with companies, governments and civil society in South Africa, Zambia and across Africa to unlock the continent’s economic potential. By promoting responsible business conduct, sustainable mining and inclusive trade, we are working together to drive a strong global economic recovery.”
- Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Canada is home to almost half the world’s publicly listed mining and exploration companies. Canadian companies are active across the globe.
Canada has a well-earned reputation as a global mining leader focused on innovation and good governance, as well as environmental and social responsibility.
Canada is the world’s largest exporter of minerals and metals, exporting approximately 60 different mineral commodities to over 100 countries around the globe. These exports of minerals and metals indirectly account for 630,000 jobs. In 2020, Canadian mining assets in Africa had a total value of $36.5 billion.
South Africa, being one of Africa’s largest and most diversified economies, is a prime destination for Canadian goods and services, and the value of 2-way merchandise trade between Canada and South Africa totalled $2.2 billion in 2020.
In 2020, the value of 2-way merchandise trade between Canada and Zambia totalled $117 million, consisting of $10.6 million in exports to Zambia and $107.3 million in imports from Zambia.
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