MONTREAL, April 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As today the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, the Honourable Ed Fast, highlighted the benefits of the eventual Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal believes that the city will come out ahead from this agreement. In addition to being Canada's second largest trading partner, the European Union is the world's largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17-trillion.
"Our economy is highly dependent on our access to foreign markets. We have already benefited greatly from North American free trade agreements signed in the past 25 years. The time has come to harness the full potential of the European market. Thanks to our port and our favourable geographic position, our metropolitan region will in fact be among the main winners following the adoption of the CETA. Our exporters and our trade-related service industry will benefit from the greater openness of the European markets, and from the increase in our bilateral trade with Europe. The CETA will also facilitate our businesses' procurement strategies, putting them in a good position to serve the American market. Finally, the agreement could lead European businesses to establish new North American headquarters in Montréal," stated Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade.
"In this context, the Board of Trade calls on the federal government to make a firm and immediate commitment on the required investments in infrastructure as part of the strategic continental gateway initiative. These investments, notably at the Port of Montréal, will maximize the benefits of the CETA for Montréal and for Canada. It is an issue of strategic coherence," continued Mr. Leblanc.
"While economic recovery has been slower than expected in Europe, it will happen sooner or later. It is up to us to adjust our corporate strategies and our business models to benefit from the market opportunities the signing of this agreement will create," concluded Mr. Leblanc.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Québec's leading private economic development organization.
For further information:
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4015
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