CEOs applaud historic commitment to stronger Asia-Pacific trade and investment ties

Canada’s business leaders welcome today’s announcement that Canada has been invited to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a game-changing regional trade arrangement that has the potential to spur economic growth around the Pacific Rim.

“By signing on to the TPP, the federal government has taken an historic leap toward securing Canada’s long-term strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).

The CCCE is the senior voice of Canadian business, representing the CEOs and entrepreneurs of 150 leading companies.

“Over the next two decades, Asia’s rapid growth will transform the global economy, reshaping traditional patterns of international trade, pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and doubling the ranks of the world’s middle class consumers,” Mr. Manley said.

“Asia has become a powerful engine of global growth, and it is essential that Canada engage fully with the region during this remarkable period of economic and geopolitical transition.”

Mr. Manley congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Canadian government officials across a number of departments for their efforts over the past several months to ensure Canada’s entry to the TPP negotiations.

“The federal government has demonstrated Canada’s commitment to achieving a high-quality, ambitious agreement, one that includes significant reforms in areas such as intellectual property protection, regulatory cooperation, rules of origin and non-tariff barriers, agricultural trade, and investment and services liberalization.” 

The CCCE also said it is looking forward to the impending release of a long-awaited report on the potential for stronger bilateral economic relations between Canada and China. 

“Council members stand ready to work with Minister Fast over the coming months as Canada and China make progress toward a much closer trade, investment and economic relationship,” Mr. Manley said. “As our second-largest trading partner, China presents significant growth opportunities for Canadian companies across a broad range of industries, including agri-food, energy and natural resources, environmental technology,  machinery and equipment, financial services, transportation infrastructure and aerospace.”

On September 24 and 25, 2012, the CCCE will host “Canada in the Pacific Century”, a conference that will bring together more than 200 top CEOs, senior government officials, educators and other leaders from across the country to map a strategy for Canada’s success in a world in which economic power is shifting to Asia. In preparation for the conference, the CCCE is publishing a series of papers and essays examining key issues in the Canada-Asia relationship. For more information about the conference and the related publication series, please visit www.PacificCentury.ca.

The CCCE brings CEOs together to shape public policy in the interests of a stronger Canada and a better world. Member CEOs and entrepreneurs represent all sectors of the Canadian economy. The companies they lead collectively administer C$4.5 trillion in assets, have annual revenues in excess of C$850 billion, and are responsible for the vast majority of Canada’s exports, investment, research and development, and training.