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NEWS RELEASE · 4th May 2010
M. of International Trade
Strengthens trade and science and technology partnerships

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today wrapped up his visit to Sweden, where he met with senior government officials and key business leaders to enhance business opportunities between the two countries and promote Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement negotiations.

“Canada is committed to freer trade with the European Union, an initiative that will create additional opportunities for Canada’s dynamic entrepreneurs and business community as well as Sweden’s business sector,” said Minister Van Loan. “A trade agreement would boost bilateral trade, open doors for our businesses and create jobs for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.”

While in Sweden, Minister Van Loan met with his Swedish counterpart, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, to update her on the third round of trade agreement negotiations with the European Union, which began in Ottawa in April and will conclude in Brussels on May 6.

He also met with Tobias Krantz, Sweden’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, with whom he signed a science and technology memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaboration between Canada and Sweden in this sector.

“This initiative is already translating into cooperative efforts between Canadian and Swedish institutes, providing great examples of the growing sophistication of our relations,” said Minister Van Loan. “Science and technology cooperation continues to be an important part of our commercial relationship, and we look forward to intensifying our bilateral partnership in this area, including at Canadian institutions such as the MaRS Centre at the University of Toronto, and the University of Calgary.”

During his visit, Minister Van Loan inaugurated the new facilities for the Canadian embassy in Stockholm. He also promoted Canada’s competitive advantages to chief executive officers and business leaders, including Jan Frykhammar, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Ericsson, the biggest information and communication technology foreign investor in Canada.

Minister Van Loan also met with Tor Ygdevik, Director of Research and Development with Zarlink Semiconductor, a successful Ottawa-based company with a significant operation in Sweden focused on wireless medical devices and technology.

Having completed a successful visit to Sweden, Minister Van Loan will depart for Brussels, where he will attend the Canada-EU Summit with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.