OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that the Harper government is ensuring that all funds made available under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) continue to support investments that create jobs and economic growth in local communities and ease the movement of goods, services and people to and from the fast-growing Asia-Pacific economies.
The open call for proposals, which will be formally launched in the coming weeks, is being made possible by the reallocation of approximately $50 million made available under the APGCI Transportation Infrastructure Fund. This fund facilitates projects in British Columbia that support Asia-Pacific trade and boost the competitive advantages of the Gateway by reducing bottlenecks, addressing capacity issues and enhancing the efficiency of the transportation system.
"Our government is committed to helping our exporters reach fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets by continuing to boost Canada's competitive advantages," said Minister Fast. "That is why we are ensuring that all of the funds committed to helping better facilitate Canadian exports to Asia are utilized. New projects will help create jobs, growth and prosperity in local communities and ensure the Asia-Pacific Gateway remains North America's gateway of choice to Asia."
With some previously proposed projects in British Columbia not proceeding for various reasons, the province, municipalities, Canada Port Authorities and other stakeholders engaged in British Columbia's transportation system will have the opportunity to apply for funding for new proposals that will help increase Canadian exports to Asia. Applications will need to be submitted by December 12, 2012. Approved projects must be completed by March 31, 2016.
The APGCI aims to make Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway the best transportation network for trade between North America and Asia and is critical to supporting the Harper government's pro-trade plan to open new markets that increase Canadian exports and create jobs and prosperity. To date, the federal government has invested in infrastructure projects, valued at over $3.3 billion, with federal investments of $1.4 billion, in partnership with all four western provinces, municipalities and the private sector. As a result of these strategic investments and partnerships, Canadian exports to the Asia-Pacific region have reached record levels. For example, in 2011 alone, Canadian exports to China increased an impressive 27 per cent.
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SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and
Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Transport Canada, Ottawa