Montréal, July 6, 2016 ‒ Yesterday the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal submitted its recommendations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade. We call on the federal government to ratify the TPP without delay and introduce measures to give companies access to international markets and take full advantage of the resulting business opportunities.
“The TPP is one of the most ambitious international trade initiatives in our history, and its conclusion will have a major impact on the future of global trade,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Canada must be party to it.”
The TPP: a source of growth for businesses
“With an aging population of barely more than 8 million, Quebec is a market with limited prospects for growth. Even Canada is too small a market for local businesses,” Michel Leblanc said. “Free trade agreements are the ultimate tool for the internationalization of businesses. The TPP guarantees preferential access to 11 countries that, along with Canada, represent 800 million consumers and close to 40% of the global economy, which will contribute to the growth and prosperity of local businesses.”
Better inform local companies about key aspects of the TPP
“The government needs to help companies prepare for the TPP by ensuring information is available about business opportunities in the 11 other member countries,” Michel Leblanc said. “The mere elimination of customs tariffs and non-tariff barriers does not guarantee success for companies. The public and the business community are waiting for the Government of Canada to publish data about the potential impact of the TPP on the country’s economy to better understand this partnership and get ready for it.
Increase financial aid to tap into new business opportunities
“The Board of Trade recommends the government improve financial aid to help local SMEs reach these new markets,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The first steps in the internationalization process for SMEs require significant investments, particularly since it often takes two or three years before turning a profit. This is why we encourage the government to double the amount devoted to CanExport, a program that targets SMEs.”
Prepare Canadian companies for competitors
“The issue of support for at-risk sectors is also important, and the government has to ensure that Canadian companies can take advantage of transitional financial aid to adapt to new competition,” Michel Leblanc said. “However, the government should avoid creating a permanent support program, but instead provide support that will encourage companies to invest to remain competitive.”
The brief with the Board of Trade’s recommendations to the Standing Committee on International Trade can be consulted by clicking here.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
About the World Trade Centre Montréal
With the help of its World Trade Montréal experts, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal offers international trade services to the extended business community, with the support of Canada Economic Development.
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Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042
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