Parliamentary Secretary Keddy Opens New Trade Office in India and Attends WTO Meeting

(No. 245 - September 4, 2009 - 10 a.m. EDT) Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a successful visit to India, where he opened a new Canadian trade office in Kolkata, a dynamic business, transportation and financial hub and the country’s fourth-largest city.

"Our new office in Kolkata will give Canadian companies another competitive edge in one of our priority markets and further strengthen our commercial relationship with India,” said Mr. Keddy. “I am proud to say that the addition of this new office in India will create one of Canada’s most extensive trade networks anywhere in the world."

With existing trade offices in Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, this enlarged network will provide market intelligence and expert advice to help Canadian companies take advantage of trade and investment opportunities.

Mr. Keddy visited Kolkata before attending a ministerial-level meeting on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round, held September 3 and 4 in New Delhi.

"Canada continues to support an ambitious and balanced outcome to the Doha negotiations. Canadian agricultural producers, manufacturers and service providers stand to benefit from the expanded access to global markets and strengthened trade rules arising from successful negotiations,” said Mr. Keddy. “Our government will also continue to defend supply-managed industries in the WTO negotiations."

Mr. Keddy’s visit builds upon a trade mission led by Minister Day in January, during which the Minister announced an agreement to initiate exploratory discussions toward a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Canada and India.

Mr. Keddy also reinforced Minister Day’s commitment to sign a Canada-India Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) as soon as possible.

India is a dynamic, rapidly growing market that represents a huge opportunity for Canadian goods, services and technology. In 2008, Canadian merchandise exports to India totalled $2.4 billion, a 35-percent increase over the year before. Two-way direct investment reached $1.8 billion in 2008.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000