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Press release: World Trade Centre Montréal Welcomes the Three NAFTA Trade Ministers

Press release

World Trade Centre Montréal Welcomes

the Three NAFTA Trade Ministers

Montreal, October 7, 2003 – World Trade Centre Montréal, a service branch of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, will welcome today the Honourable Pierre S. Pettigrew, Canada's International Trade Minister and his U.S. and Mexican counterparts, Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative, and Fernando Canales, Mexican Secretary for the Economy, at a conference luncheon in the Point de mire series.

“NAFTA is the most important trading block in the world. Today, nearly 90% of the total merchandise exports from Canada are destined for the United States and Mexico. The relations and exchanges between the three member nations of NAFTA therefore have a huge impact on the flow of Canadian and Quebec exports,” stated Benoit Labonté, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

The many steps that have been taken to further liberalize trade between the three NAFTA countries since 1994 have boosted the economic growth of each partner even as improving the quality of life of its citizens.

“In today's context of international economic inter-dependence, exporting is, more than ever, a critical economic nessity. The prosperity of our businesses, particularly SMEs, depends in large part on their ability to become export-oriented and to develop new markets. In this regard, the conference luncheon with the three NAFTA trade ministers is an opportunity for our businesses to update their knowledge of trade relations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico with a view to creating and implementing an effective export development strategy that will allow them to better penetrate the North-American market,” concluded Benoit Labonté.

This activity in the Point de mire series on trade agreements was organized with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada. The organizers would like to thank the event sponsor KPMG as well as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for its contribution.

The World Trade Centre Montréal is a branch of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and offers export services to the greater business community.  It receives support from Canada Economic Development.



Sylvie Paquette

Coordinator, Media relations

Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015



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