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Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Honourable Minister of International Trade* was in Halifax, Nova Scotia last night to table a discussion with local businesses regarding Canada’s efforts to promote trade and the benefits of the newly-formed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) agreement between Canada and the European Union.

InterTalk’s President Chris Oldham was invited to attend, along with other notable Nova Scotia-based businesses like Clearwater Seafood, the Halifax Port Authority, and Taste Nova Scotia among others, to ask questions and voice comments to Minister Freeland regarding CETA and other international trade issues. The Canadian government is a staunch proponent of trade with the global community, as evidenced by Prime Ministers Trudeau’s continued efforts to engage with foreign countries such as China, India, and Cuba. CETA represents a significant opportunity for Canadian businesses looking to export goods to Europe, and specifically, how Halifax can lead the charge, being the geographically-closest business center between Canada and Europe.

As CETA awaits final ratification, targeted for early February, the Canadian government is hard at work to educate companies and how CETA will benefit them. One example is the Canadexport program, which provides financial assistance to small and medium companies looking to export to new foreign markets. In fact, Minister Freeland was pleased to learn that Pantel was one such recipient, having used the Canadexport program to further our efforts to export to the Netherlands. Other tools, such as the Trade Commissioner Service, are supplied by the federal government to help companies grow their international business, and validate Minister Freeland’s position that Canada is well-positioned to be a world leader in international trade, despite an increasing sentiment of protectionism in some countries.

The enthusiasm expressed during this roundtable discussion, and specifically Minister Freeland’s willingness to directly assist companies’ export efforts, provide us a great sense of optimism for InterTalk’s growth opportunities in 2017. With many large projects already underway in the United States, InterTalk will continue its international business development, with our participation at the Critical Communications World 2017 exhibition to be held in Hong Kong in May, among other Conferences and Expos in the United States. We will be sure to call on our friends in the federal government to help pave our way, and we will do our part to support Minister Freeland and Prime Minister Trudeau’s message of Canada being a willing and able partner with whom to do business.

*Please note that the Honourable Chrystia Freeland was named Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on January 10, 2017, shortly after this blog article was posted.

Pictured in the header, left to right: Darren Fisher, MP for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour; Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax; the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of International Trade; and Chris Oldham, President of InterTalk

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