PM promotes trade with Canadian business leaders in São Paulo

São Paulo, Brazil
9 August 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today joined business leaders from major Canadian companies who conduct business in Brazil for a roundtable to discuss business prospects between the two countries. Moderated by the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, the roundtable provided a forum for the Canadian Government to hear about opportunities to expand economic ties between Canada and Brazil.

"I am here today to listen to and seek the views of senior Canadian business people so that our Government can further support them as they build commercial relationships in Brazil," said the Prime Minister. "Increased opportunities in other markets, including Brazil, will translate into more jobs and a stronger economy for all Canadians."

This roundtable allowed for frank and open discussions on a variety of issues and opportunities facing Canadian businesses and stakeholders, representing a broad range of sectors such as transport, information and communications technologies, oil and gas equipment and services, mining, financial services and education. During the discussions, representatives from Canadian companies highlighted to the Prime Minister how Brazil is a strategic location for their global operations.

In 2010, bilateral trade between Canada and Brazil reached $5.9 billion. That same year, Brazil was Canada’s eighth largest foreign investor with $13.5 billion in cumulative investment. Brazil was also the 11th-largest recipient of Canadian direct investment abroad, with a total of $9.7 billion in cumulative investment.

As part of the steps taken by the Government to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and Brazil, Prime Minister Harper also announced today the opening of three new Visa Application Centres in Brazil, which will facilitate the process for Brazilians applying for Canadian visas and help make Canada a preferred destination for business, study and leisure. The three new centres – located in Brasília, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – will open later this month.