Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sector is taking centre stage Sept. 30 to Oct. 9 in a trade and investment mission to the European Union led by Minister Oneil Carlier.
The mission supports Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food producers’ efforts to increase exports to the EU’s growing markets and attract value-added firms and investment capital.
“Expanding our international trade and investment relationships creates jobs in Alberta and further diversifies our economy. The EU presents tremendous opportunities for Alberta’s exports of agricultural products.”
Minister Carlier will meet with EU agri-business representatives to promote this province as a preferred destination for investment. He will also meet with companies that have existing operations in Alberta.
The minister will participate with Alberta companies at the Anuga trade show, which bills itself as the world’s largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages. Alberta and France will sign an amended letter of intent to include forestry along with agriculture as an area for collaboration and research.
Under the provisional application of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Canada will have preferential access to the world’s most lucrative market, with 500 million consumers across 28 EU member states and almost $17 trillion in annual economic activity.
On Sept. 21, 2017, 94 per cent of agriculture tariff lines became duty-free for Canadian goods, with an additional one per cent to be phased out over seven years.
The EU is Alberta’s fifth-largest export market, with agriculture and food exports valued at $404 million in 2016. The region is a major export destination for Alberta’s wheat, canola seed, prepared animal feed, beef and bison.
The region is also an important source of foreign direct investment for Canada and Alberta. The EU is Canada’s second largest source of foreign investment after the United States with stock totalling $259 billion in 2015. The EU offers great potential for investment in grain and agri-food processing, functional foods and natural health products, and bio-industries.
The estimated international mission cost for Minister Carlier, one minister’s office staff and two department officials is $41,625.
Sept. 30: Travel to the Netherlands
Oct. 1: Arrive in the Netherlands
Oct. 2: Investment meetings
Oct. 3: Meetings with industry and government officials
Oct. 4: Meetings on trade, transportation and logistics, travel to Belgium
Oct. 5: Meetings with industry and government officials
Oct. 5: Travel to France
Oct. 6: Investment meetings, meetings with government officials
Oct. 7: Rest day
Oct. 8: Travel to Germany, meeting with Alberta exporters at Anuga
Oct. 9: Investment meetings, return to Edmonton
Oct. 10: Arrive in Edmonton
*Subject to change