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Canada cited as one of the most open and liberal economies for trade

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Tariff reductions, transparency and non-discriminatory competition policy make Canada an ideal trade partner, reveals a recent study.

In the "Inpidual Action Plan (IAP) Study Report, Canada 2007", independent analysts assess Canadian progress toward APEC goals. The report considers a range of areas comprising Canadian efforts to reach the APEC Bogor Goals, which have as targets free and open trade by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.

The report identifies Canada as "one of the most open and liberal economies among the APEC and WTO members."

Canada has accorded high priority to transparency and information technology, competition laws are non-discriminatory and incrementally-applied statutory amendments are expected to decrease government restrictions on competition.

"Application of APEC's competition and regulatory reform principles is widespread... and there has been progress at both federal and provincial levels in reducing market entry barriers to trade and the professions."

While restrictions on foreign ownership of acquisitions do exist, over 50% of the Canada's manufacturing industry and over 80% of its oil and gas industry are foreign owned, which demonstrates Canada's openness to foreign investment.

While tradition suggests that the US is a primary trading partner, analysts point out that, "unilateral and reciprocal concessions have also been extended to non-US economies" and that "there exist multilateral potential trade gains for Canada if trade increases with the rest of the world in a significant way."

The full report will be available after the Senior Officials' Meeting on March 3.

All APEC Member Economies implement an IAP to direct their efforts to achieve APEC's Bogor Goals. The IAP review process provides each Member Economy with the opportunity to have their progress towards APEC goals assessed by Independent Experts.

Three APEC Member Economies are having their IAPs reviewed current APEC meetings in Lima, Peru. This process involves a presentation by the Independent Experts to a meeting of Member Economies, followed by an opportunity for these economies to query the economy under review as to details of their IAP.

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