The Director of the Services Trade Policy Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), will be visiting Vancouver on May 26th and will be providing the GDC with an update on the status of Canada's international trade negotiations on services and to discuss the GDC's industry's priorities and interests, particularly in the context of any specific barriers to market access that you may encounter in key international markets. They have invited Aaron Heppell, Vancouver Island Chapter President, our National Past President Rod Roodenburg and BC Chapter President Marga Lopez. The meeting will also be joined by an official from the British Columbia Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development.
The Government of Canada has embarked on an aggressive program of regional and bilateral free trade agreement negotiations. Canada has recently completed negotiations with the European Free Trade Association, Peru, Colombia and Panama and is engaged in negotiations at various stages with the European Union, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Korea, Dominican Republic, Central American countries, Morocco and Ukraine and is exploring the potential for free trade negotiations with key countries such as India, Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) and Turkey.
In addition, negotiations of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in the World Trade Organization (WTO) are entering a new phase, one which they hope will lead to comprehensive market access improvements for Canadian services suppliers in a range of key markets as part of the successful completion of negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda in 2010.