Minister Fast holds pre-budget consultation with B.C. business leaders

VANCOUVER, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today met with stakeholders and local business leaders for a pre-budget consultation and to highlight the many ways the Harper government's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is helping grow Canada's trade with high-growth Asian markets.  Minister Fast also announced that he will be leading a trade mission to China and Japan from April 7-12, 2013, that will focus on the communications and information technologies sector.

"Canada's economy and future prosperity is our government's top priority. That prosperity depends on increasing our exports in fast-growing and dynamic markets around the world.  That is why we've undertaken the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our nation's history," said Minister Fast. "The Asia-Pacific Gateway plays a key role in supporting our growing trade with Asia, while creating jobs and growth for local communities, as well as for Canada as a whole."

Business and industry leaders who are crucial to the Gateway's success participated in the roundtable discussion, including industry and business associations, port authorities and private sector companies.

"I received a lot of important feedback today on ways Economic Action Plan 2013 can continue to keep Canada on the right track through expanded export opportunities and the opening of new markets for Canadian businesses," added Minister Fast. "Today's discussions will guide us as we continue to implement pro-export and pro-growth measure that will help create more jobs for today and tomorrow."

Minister Fast has been meeting with business leaders across Canada in the lead-up to the next federal budget, including recently with businesses and municipalities of British Columbia's Lower Mainland. To ensure that all Canadians can participate in the process, Finance Canada has launched an online pre-budget consultation process.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and
Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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