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Minister of Finance to Host Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean in Calgary

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 18, 2011 — Addressing economic challenges and enhancing regional trade and cross-border infrastructure will be the focus of the upcoming meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean on March 25-26 in Calgary, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, confirmed today. The meeting, which coincides with the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will be the fourth for the Finance Ministers of 34 nations in the Western Hemisphere.

“Canada’s goal in Calgary will be to strengthen the dialogue among our nations and enhance the region’s economic prospects, building on the progress made in the previous meetings in Mexico, Chile and Peru,” said Minister Flaherty. “I have participated in all of these meetings and have found them to be an increasingly influential forum on issues affecting growth and development. I have no doubt, as was the case last year at the Toronto G-20 Leaders’ summit and the G-7 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Iqaluit, that this gathering will play a pivotal role in our collective efforts towards a sustained global recovery.”

Both the Finance Ministers’ and IDB meetings are further evidence of the priority the Government of Canada places on its partnerships throughout the Americas. Other recent examples include:

  • Providing $4 billion in additional support to the IDB, the main source of multilateral funding in Latin America and the Caribbean, through a temporary increase in callable capital that greatly increased its lending capacity during the crisis.
  • Playing a lead role in the successful negotiations for general capital increases at both the IDB and the Caribbean Development Bank, which increase the amount of development financing these institutions can provide in the long run.
  • Cancelling all debts owed to Canada by Latin American and Caribbean countries under the Canadian Debt Initiative (CDI). In addition to cancelling all CDI-related Haitian debt in 2009, Canada played a lead role in eliminating the debt owed by Haiti to international financial institutions such as the IDB and the World Bank, and has allocated $400 million in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.

The Harper Government has launched an ambitious trade agenda, opening doors to Canadian business by concluding new free trade agreements with several countries in the Americas, including Colombia, Peru and Panama.

At the same time, the Government has also launched negotiations with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Honduras, which is building on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico.

Canadian businesses and workers can compete with the best in the world, confident that the Government of Canada will continue to create jobs and open new markets for Canadian families and businesses.

News source: Department of Finance


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