Opening Ceremony of the Canadian European Investment Roadshow (Business Forum) of the Global Business Leaders Series
Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Thank you for extending to me such a warm welcome. I am delighted to be in Brussels to help kick off the Global Business Leaders Series.
The forum that we’re launching today aims to bring together European leaders and innovators to raise awareness about the benefits of doing business with Canada.
Our timing is particularly favourable, with the recently concluded Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement promising to increase trade and co-operation between Canada and Europe. It is the most ambitious trade agreement either party has ever negotiated. It is also the first trade agreement that the EU has concluded with a G7 partner and will deepen and broaden our already strong trading relationship. This is a time of significant opportunity for businesses in Belgium and throughout the European Union, so let me share with you a few of Canada strengths as a partner in your future success.
Canada is fortunate to have a diversified economy, a precious endowment of natural resources, and solid banking and financial institutions. Our country is home to a highly-educated and capable workforce. We welcome foreign investment and have worked hard to develop an economy where business can innovate, grow and succeed. Ours is a low-cost, low-tax environment, and our integration with North American markets provides access and opportunity to entrepreneurs.
Canada has also made innovation a priority. We have invested in science, technology and innovation in order to position Canada as a leader in the global knowledge economy.
I would like to highlight Canadian cities as leading centres for investment and innovation co-operation. Representatives of economic development agencies from a number of Canadian cities are here today, eager to share their expertise and to assist international firms establish a presence in Canada for the North American market place.
I encourage you to take this opportunity to meet and exchange with each other. I am certain our two countries have so much to gain by doing so. The advantages of partnering and investing in Canada are numerous, and the same applies to Canadians looking to invest in Belgium and in Europe. This is particularly true in this era of deepening globalization, where working together is so very important.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Belgian partners of Canada who are here with us today. Your support is appreciated, and your experiences and advice can help us to establish future partnerships.
Brussels is a fitting place to renew Canada’s business outreach to Europe, and I thank you again for your time and attention. I wish you the very best in your efforts.