Parliamentary Secretary Virani shares highlights of trade visits to South Africa and Zambia

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.

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