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UK Trade Minister calls for speedy conclusion to £1.3 billion Canada trade agreement

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Lord Livingston begins a 3 day trade visit to Canada

Lord Livingston begins a 3 day trade visit to Canada today (26 March 2014) where he will call for a speedy conclusion to an EU-Canada trade agreement benefitting UK firms by £1.3 billion a year.

The UK’s Trade and Investment Minister will also highlight the opportunities for greater UK-Canadian trade and investment through the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement ( CETA). As the UK is Canada’s top trading partner in the EU, it will help support businesses in both countries to increase exports and attract investment.

Accompanied by a delegation of UK companies from the energy and environmental sectors, the minister will promote the UK as a centre of excellence in these sectors to Canadian business leaders at the sustainability conference Globe 2014.

A joint statement of co-operation in trade and investment will be signed by Lord Livingston and Teresa Wat, British Columbian Minister for International Trade in Vancouver. The UK and Canada will share information on strategies and programmes to maximise trade and investment and grow business links through trade missions, business networking events and matchmaking companies.

Lord Livingston said:

We have a strong trade and investment relationship with Canada which I am determined to build on. The important CETA agreement has real potential to create growth and jobs in both countries and I look forward to its speedy conclusion.

UK expertise and investment opportunities are in demand around the world. Last week’s budget (19 March 2014) demonstrates our commitment to increasing UK exports and inward investment, and the environmental sector is a particularly strong example of this, worth £128 billion and supporting 1 million UK jobs.

Other highlights of the trip include:

  • meeting with British Columbia Premier Christy Clark
  • meeting with Environment Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie
  • opening the UK-British Columbia forum on supporting environmental innovation
  • speaking at the Economy Club on CETA

The UK is Canada’s second largest trade and investment partner after the US and Canada remains 1 of the biggest global import markets - a significant source of demand for UK exports. UK exports of goods and services to Canada in 2012 were £4.2 billion for goods and £3.9 billion for services.

The UK environmental goods and services sector is estimated to be worth £128 billion and supports nearly 1 million jobs in Britain. The UK is currently the sixth largest low carbon economy in the world.

The UK is Canada’s second largest destination for FDI after the US and is seen as Canada’s launch pad for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Canadian FDI in the UK continues to be strong with over 700 Canadian companies with UK operations.

The minister’s trip follows the government’s budget announcements last week aimed at increasing the support available to help UK businesses export and increase inward investment. UK Export Finance will double investment in its Direct Lending Scheme to £3 billion, launch a consultation to boost UK exports, launch its Export Refinancing Facility for long-term loans over £50 million and increase its direct marketing activity. UKTI will invest a further £2.4 million to extend its Global Entrepreneur Programme to attract more of the world’s fast growth businesses to the UK.

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