Canadian PM urges G20 Summit to restore market confidence

October 19th, 2011 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Ottawa, Oct 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called on G20 leaders to restore market confidence with concrete policy commitments at their upcoming summit in Cannes, France.

Harper, in a phone call Tuesday, urged EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to help lead Europe toward an agreement on immediate measures to recapitalise banks and address the Greek debt crisis.

“With the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Canada is doing its part by delivering on its G20 Toronto Summit fiscal consolidation commitments while emphasizing job creation for Canadians,” he said.

Both Harper and Barroso reaffirmed strong support for concluding the ambitious Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as soon as possible.

On Monday, the two sides started the ninth round of negotiations over the CETA here in a bid to boost the two-way trade by 20 percent.

According to Statistics Canada, the EU as a whole is Canada’s second largest trading partner in goods and services.

In 2010, Canadian goods and services exports to the EU totalled 49.2 billion Canadian dollars, and imports from the EU amounted to 55.3 billion Canadian dollars.

The EU is also the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada, with the one-way investment totalling 146.9 billion Canadian dollars at the end of 2010.

The EU accounts for 23.5 percent of Canadian direct investment abroad as Canadian direct investments there amounted to 145.2 billion Canadian dollars last year.

In less than six years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries and is negotiating with more, including India.

Canada’s economy is expected to grow by at least 6 billion Canadian dollars if a trade deal can be reached with India.

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