November 3, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed the warm and productive three-day visit to Canada by François Hollande, President of the French Republic. The two leaders reaffirmed the deep and enduring relationship between the two countries, explored ways to further broaden its scope, and reaffirmed the importance of the Canada-France Enhanced Cooperation Agenda.
Prime Minister Harper and President Hollande discussed the state of the global economy, trade and investment opportunities and highlighted the benefits of moving forward with the Canada-EU Trade Agreement.
The leaders also discussed a broad range of international security issues, including the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Ebola outbreak, which they agreed to discuss on an ongoing basis. Increasing economic, cultural, educational and social ties between the two countries also featured prominently in discussions.
As part of the Enhanced Cooperation Agenda, the Prime Minister and President also announced the renewal of the 2014-2015 Canada-France Joint Economic Action Plan, which will increase the two countries’ economic and trade ties by facilitating concrete projects. The Plan aims to increase two-way trade and investment, strengthen cooperation in science and technology, and support the implementation of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement.
Additionally, the two leaders announced the finalization of a Technical Arrangement establishing a Franco-Canadian Defence Cooperation Council.
In an address to Canada’s Parliament on November 3, 2014, President Hollande praised the excellent and long-lasting bilateral relations between our countries, and highlighted France and Canada’s increased cooperation on matters of mutual interest, including the fight against terrorism.
President Hollande’s visit included stops in Calgary, Banff and Ottawa, and will see him travel to QuébecCity and Montreal. This is the President’s first State Visit to Canada. His visit to western Canada is a testament to France’s keen interest in developing stronger ties throughout our country.
President Hollande was accompanied by several cabinet ministers and a large business and academic delegation. The visit focused on greater cooperation on trade and economic development, innovation, international security and threats, and broader people-to-people ties.
France is Canada’s eighth-largest trading partner.
Merchandise trade between Canada and France grew to more than $8.5 billion in 2013. France is Canada’s third-largest trading partner in services worldwide and its second-largest from Europe.
France is the ninth-largest foreign investor in Canada, with a direct investment stock of $11 billion at the end of 2013. From coast to coast to coast, some 550 French companies have set up shop in Canada. Companies such as L’Oréal, Michelin, Thales and Total contribute significantly to Canada’s economic vitality. More than 220 Canadian companies are established in France.
The Canada-France Joint Economic Action Plan is structured to support Canadian and French small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in their drive for new export markets, so that they can benefit from newly created opportunities and the removal of trade barriers.
The Technical Arrangement to establish a Franco-Canadian Defence Cooperation Council aims to further strengthen high-level defence dialogue and cooperation between our two countries in areas such as policy development, defence materiel, and research and development.
“Relations between Canada and France are rooted in our rich history and our shared values. President Hollande’s visit has reaffirmed the close ties that bind our two countries: those of language and culture, of trade and commerce, and of common approaches to the important global issues that we face together. I look forward to our increased cooperation on international security and governance issues, as well as economic and military cooperation.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
PM marks successful visit of French President François Hollande to Canada (1)