MONTREAL, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Montreal's port community is delighted with the new economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU).
"We are the leading port on the North American East Coast for trade between Northern Europe and North America's industrial heartland," said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), during a press conference held at the MPA administration building today. The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness, participated in the press conference and were accompanied by representatives of the business sector.
The federal ministers said that workers and companies from the major sectors of Quebec's economy will benefit greatly from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU.
Strategically located between the world's two largest economic blocs, the EU and NAFTA, the Port of Montreal is the natural gateway for Europe. European markets already represent 39 percent of total traffic and close to 65 percent of container traffic moving through the Port of Montreal. Moreover, Quebec accounts for 35 percent of Canadian exports moving to Europe. These exports, in particular those transported by container, move for the most part through the Port of Montreal.
Among the main exports that will benefit from the new accord are agri-food products such as pork and beef, and certain finished and semi-finished products such as aeronautic parts, and pulp and paper.
"Within the context of the new free-trade agreement with the European Union, our vision to expand the port to our land at Contrecoeur takes on added significance," Ms. Vachon said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced last week an agreement in principle on the trade agreement.
About the Port of Montreal
Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is a major diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods - containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. It is a leading container port served by the largest container shipping lines in the world.
The Port of Montreal handled 1,375,327 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2012, representing 12,032,966 tonnes of cargo.
The port also handled 9,721,422 tonnes of liquid bulk, 3,467,394 tonnes of dry bulk and 3,070,054 tonnes of grain in 2012.
The Port of Montreal has its own rail network directly dockside. It is connected to the two national rail networks and a highway system. The port operates a passenger terminal that welcomed 69,992 passengers and crew members in 2012. All other terminals are run by private stevedoring firms.
Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spin-offs annually.
SOURCE: MONTREAL PORT AUTHORITY
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