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Next month, Canada will host a high-level trade mission from Nigeria. Led by their Vice President, the delegation includes seven cabinet ministers, five state governors and 25 CEOs representing some of Africa’s most successful new businesses. Such high-profile business delegations are not common in Canada. Even more unusual is the fact that they are here for Canada—and not just stopping over on their way to the U.S.
This is good news. Over the next decade, Africa’s economy is expected to grow faster than any other continent. Foreign direct investment has more than tripled over the past ten years, and remains strong despite increasing global headwinds. Appropriate for Canada, the vast majority of this investment goes into extractive or infrastructure projects, which explains why our equipment producers, engineers and mining and energy firms are already making significant inroads.
Ottawa, April 12 2013 — The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomes today’s issuance of the Presidential Permit needed to start the construction of a New International Trade Crossing between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.
With about half of all trade between Canada and the U.S. moving across the Michigan-Ontario border, the region is at the heart of our bilateral trading relationship. A new bridge is long overdue. The region can’t continue to rely on one major span. If the Ambassador Bridge were closed for any reason, even just for repairs, it could have catastrophic effects on the economies of both nations. A new bridge will create more than 10,000 construction jobs and will strengthen the industrial base in both countries. It’s a win for citizens and businesses on both sides of the border.
Today, I spoke at a trade event hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce where I outlined three opportunities for Canada and the United States to strengthen their relationship.
President Truman once characterized our relationship in these words: “Canada and the United States have reached the point where we no longer think of each other as ‘foreign’ countries. We think of each other as friends, as peaceful and cooperative neighbours on a spacious and fruitful continent.
This morning, I spoke at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum as part of a panel on energy. I delivered the message that Canada is a secure and reliable source of energy.
Canada has been blessed with a natural resource endowment that is second to none. We are the world’s second largest producer of uranium and the second largest forest product exporter. We are the third largest producer of natural gas and hydro electricity and the sixth largest producer of crude oil. But, Canada’s role as an energy leader is not based on geological accident alone. Our stable political environment, independent regulators and our openness to trade and foreign investment are key components of Canada’s status as an energy superpower.