The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today issued the following statement:
“Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the economy as they create valuable jobs for the middle class. Helping these businesses grow and export to new markets and attract investments is central to the Government of Canada’s export diversification strategy. One year ago today, Canada became a party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership [CPTPP]. This ambitious and inclusive free trade agreement gives Canadian businesses preferential access to the Asia-Pacific region.
“Over the first year, we have seen early signs of what is to come, with close to 3% growth in bilateral merchandise trade with all of our new free trade partners. Many sectors, such as meat, fish and seafood, have experienced an expansion in exports to other CPTPP markets, such as Japan and Vietnam.
“The CPTPP exemplifies our commitment to increasing and diversifying trade with key global markets. Once fully implemented, the agreement will create new customers and opportunities for Canadian businesses in 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
“From the beginning, Canada has always been a nation of traders. In many ways, exporting drove the economic growth upon which this great nation was established. Today, our global brand is strong again, and our government has set a goal of growing Canadian overseas exports by 50% by 2025.
“Our Canadian businesses now have preferential access to 1.5 billion customers among our free trade partners. And we know that trade works best when it works for everyone. That is why our government is working hard to create trade deals that are inclusive and help women entrepreneurs tackle the barriers to success they have traditionally faced in business-like exporting.
“I look forward to continuing my work with innovative and enthusiastic Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and from all regions of our country so that they can fully realize the benefits from the CPTPP and Canada’s other free trade agreements.”
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade