Sep 16, 2010

#BDS: Canada-Israel relationship called shining success of free trade program

TORONTO – Canada’s economic relationship with Israel was held up as a shining example of the success of our free trade program by International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan at a recent luncheon held by the Canada Israel Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsored by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.
“Canada and Israel have been fortunate to be emerging from this global economic pretty good shape. The free trade agreement between our countries has proven the success of open trade and investment. Our two-way trade...has more than doubled now, reaching $1.3-billion last year," he said.

“As everybody knows, Israel is a leader in science and technology and innovation and, [as for] Canada, we’re pretty proud of our record, as well. And that’s why our collaboration is, in fact, so important.”

Canadian companies such as Research in Motion, Air Canada and Super-Pharm are “building a strong commercial presence” in Israel, while Israeli investors including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ormat Technologies, Amdocs and TheraVitae “have made significant inroads” in Canada.

“We're also making things together for the global marketplace, trading inputs and services back and forth, and becoming part of each other’s value chains.”

The Jewish Tribune asked Van Loan for specific examples. 

“You might find it in medical instruments [where] parts might be manufactured in Canada, some parts might be manufactured in Sweden, some parts in Israel and [they] all come together into one piece.”

When asked about the possibility that Canadian goods manufactured with Israeli parts might be targetted for boycotts by anti-Israel groups, he said, “Individual consumers can make the choices individual consumers want.  We don’t think there is a legitimate basis for any kind of economic boycott of Israel and so we would discourage that. I know there have been efforts over the years to have those kinds of boycotts take place but those have not in any way altered our policies.”

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