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Results: 1 - 15 of 41
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-30 11:17
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Madam Chair, at the outset, I would like to place on record my disappointment that the chief executive officer of the Canadian Commercial Corporation is not here. I have a number of questions, and I think he or she would have been the right person to address them to.
With no disrespect to Ms. Sara Wilshaw, what she stated in her opening statement is mostly known to us. I would have preferred to hear from these two corporations. I'm happy that Ms. Katie Curran is here. If she had made an opening statement, we could have gotten an overview of what the Invest in Canada organization is doing, and I would have expected the same thing from the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
For example, CCC is a very interesting and very underutilized agency of the Government of Canada. People may not know that, for U.S. defence acquisition or purchases, Canadian companies are considered to be U.S. domestic corporations, and CCC can help a lot of small and medium-sized businesses get business there.
On the operational side of CCC, if I remember what Ms. Wilshaw stated, Canadian export is $766 billion, and the amount of contracts CCC has signed is just around $1.5 billion. It's not even that, it's $1.35 billion. That is too small. We have been signing free trade agreements across the world. We need Canadians to start exporting to other parts of the world, because those markets are new and because we want to increase small and medium-sized enterprises for export. CCC must play an active role in promoting these exports into new markets, whether they are non-Western countries in Europe or countries in Africa or Asia. I don't see that.
CCC has been in existence for a long, long time, and even now, they're just doing $1.35 billion. It's not even a drop in the bucket. Even their targets.... I'm looking at their corporate plan. The target for next year does not go up even by 10%. I think it's less than 5%, and every year it is less than 5%. It is pathetic. I'm sorry to use this language, but a corporation growth rate.... When we want exponential growth rate in exports from Canadian businesses, the growth rate that CCC is projecting, even to 2025-26, is not even 10% of what they're doing today.
Another thing is that they mentioned that they helped 221 small and medium-sized firms out of 300 exports. It's a good thing, but I would like to know the number of contracts that the CCC did for these 221 SMEs and how many of the total contracts they've signed are outside of the U.S.
As for the U.S. and western Europe, we don't need organizations like CCC to make a breakthrough in these mature markets. We need CCC to hold hands with Canadian exporters when they tap into the new markets in Asia, Africa and other places.
I'm disappointed on that front, Madam Chair. I wish they were here, as I had questions for them. In any case, I'm glad that Ms. Katie Curran is here.
Ms. Curran, I was reading through your departmental plan. It was mentioned that the pandemic reduced FDI. I can understand that. It was reduced by about 50%, but what is the trend you have been seeing in the last, say, seven or 10 years? What is the trend you are seeing in the growth of foreign direct investment in Canada? I know that Canadian companies are aggressively investing in other parts of the world. Canadian pension funds, Canadian corporations and private corporations are doing it.
What is the trend we are seeing in the growth of foreign direct investments in Canada?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-30 12:08
Madam Chair, my hand is up.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-30 12:08
I agree with what Mr. Masse has said. I served on the public accounts committee for four years. The Auditor General's office has a system of selecting the departments and the Crown agencies to audit and not to audit. As individual members of Parliament and as a committee, we can submit our requests. However, the Auditor General's office has its own criteria that it goes through in making the selection of which Crown agencies it will audit next.
It makes an exception from its prepared plan when there are exceptional circumstances related to any department or any Crown agency. I don't foresee anything here. There is no harm in making a request from the committee, but it would not in any way influence the Auditor General to pick up and audit both of these Crown corporations immediately.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-30 12:36
It's perfect, Madam Chair. That's what I too was proposing.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-09 16:13
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Canada's opportunities in Indo-Pacific countries are very important, especially in the light of Global Affairs Canada launching the Indo-Pacific strategy. The pandemic is having a major impact, in my opinion, on globalization and in increased protectionism amongst many countries. Obviously for Canada, trade is important as it accounts for 60% to 65% of our GDP.
We need to diversify, because most of our international trade currently is with the U.S. I think it's almost 70%. There is potential with India, which I think Canada is considering as a high-priority trading partner. This year we formally relaunched the comprehensive economic partnership agreement and we agreed, I think a month ago, to considering entering an agreement meanwhile.
Taiwan is a major partner. I think it's bigger than India in terms of trade. In 2021, Taiwan's trade with Canada was around $10 billion, whereas for India it was $8.9 billion.
Canada and ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam—have signed a CPTPP. Taiwan has applied to join it, and we have already begun exploratory discussions with Taiwan for a foreign investment protection agreement.
ASEAN countries are important for diversification. Currently, ASEAN is the sixth-largest trade partner of Canada. We have launched negotiations with Indonesia. Combined ASEAN economies are too big. In 2020, their GDP was $8.2 trillion with a combined population of about 670 million.
Importantly, a working paper recently published by the C.D. Howe Institute states that an agreement with ASEAN would position Canada to join the regional comprehensive economic partnership of Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and 10 ASEAN countries. This is now the largest regional trade agreement in the world and is likely to be an important framework for the future development of East Asian value chains and production networks. All this tells us we should move forward with the trade agreements with the countries in the Indo-Pacific region as soon as possible.
My question is for Claire Citeau of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.
I listened to what you said. I agree with all the suggestions you made on diversifying the non-tariff barriers and advocacy. This pandemic, as mentioned, is affecting globalization. In my view, the protectionism and self-reliance strategy adopted by many countries is going to affect our free trade agreements.
Do you think now or in the near future we will have problems with all the existing trade agreements and the new trade agreements in the areas of countries not abiding with the agreements or increasing the non-tariff barriers?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-09 16:17
That's it exactly.
Going forward, do you foresee problems in the implementation of the trade agreements we have, for example, that a country is not abiding by the rules of the agreement or there are increases in the non-tariff barriers?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-09 16:17
In the interest of time, I have another question for both you and Mr. Trew from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Why do you think Canadian companies are not taking advantage of the many trade agreements we already have? Most Canadian trade is still with the U.S., despite all the trade agreements we have with Europe, and the CPTPP, etc. Why are Canadian companies not moving forward?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-05-09 16:19
Could you give us a quick answer, Mr. Stordy, if you have any comments.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-04-27 16:42
Thank you, Madam Chair.
These discussions on the Canada's trade and investment relations with ASEAN countries are very important, especially in the context of Canada's development of its Indo-Pacific strategy. We all know that, for Canada, trade is very important. It accounts for 60% to 65% of our GDP. We also know that export companies provide high-quality jobs, with almost 40% higher salaries.
The pandemic has changed international trade, I think I should say, permanently. There is a permanent dent in globalization and international trade. Protectionism has come up. This Russian invasion of Ukraine is also going to have a major impact. Energy security has become very important for every country in the world. For Canada, we need to diversify. Today most of our trade is with the United States. Our companies are more comfortable dealing with the U.S. and the North American market than looking beyond North America.
This study we are conducting also includes India and Taiwan, along with ASEAN countries. India is, of course, a high-priority trading partner for Canada. This year we formally launched a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to consider an interim agreement, whatever that means. Let's see how it goes.
With Taiwan, merchandise trade with Taiwan is better than India. I think in 2021 we had about $10 billion in trade with Taiwan, against India's $9 billion. Taiwan, as we all know, has applied for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. With Taiwan this year we have begun exploratory discussions on a foreign investment protection agreement. Also we have agreed with Taiwan to work together to further promote supply chain resilience.
ASEAN countries are very important for diversification. Combined, they make up a very big number in terms of their size. I think that their combined GDP in 2020 was about $8 trillion, with a combined population of around 617 million. We need to encourage Canadian companies to go beyond the North American market, to look outside of Europe and China. The next big thing is ASEAN countries.
As the Canada-Vietnam Society director Julie Nguyen said, ASEAN countries are our sixth-largest trading partner. I am glad to see the Canada Vietnam Society represented here.
It's good to hear the views of Mr. Farmer, the president of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council. With his feet on the ground there, his perspective is very important for us. I did note that you mentioned that Canada can be a supplier energy and food to these countries, which is very important.
To the Canada Korea Council chair Sonny Cho, it's so nice to see you. I was the previous co-chair of the Canada-Korea Interparliamentary Friendship Group. I know the investments South Korea has made in Canada, in the semiconductor and the electrical vehicle sectors. It is good.
As I said, ASEAN as a whole is very important. Recently I met with ambassadors from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. In fact, later today, I'm scheduled to meet the Indonesian ambassador and an Indonesian delegation of officials and private sector leaders from energy, finance, mining and transportation sectors, who are interested in expanding their business in Canada.
My question is for Mr. Farmer, Ms. Julie Nguyen and Mr. Sonny Cho. It's the same question for all three of you. Because of the time restrictions, please answer in under one minute each. Tell us the three important things Canada should do, change or modify to improve trade relations between Canada and ASEAN countries.
Mr. Farmer, you can go first.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-04-06 16:23
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The withdrawal order doesn't ban the import of goods from Russia or Belarus. It just increases the tariff rate to 35%. The only things that are banned from import are oil and probably gas from Russia and Belarus. Why is that? Do we have the mechanism to ban an entire range of goods from Russia? Is there any problem in our banning an entire range of goods? That's number one.
Two, this withdrawal order is applicable for 180 days. This can be extended by a resolution adopted by both houses of Parliament. Is that the requirement under the WTO, or is the requirement due to any of our own legislation? Can somebody explain that to me?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-04-06 16:26
Mr. Turner, my time is limited.
The things you elaborated on are more about export controls. I was asking whether there is any reason we have not expanded the banning of imports beyond oil.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-03-21 16:12
Thank you, Madam Chair.
On a related question, the European Union has declared nuclear and natural gas as green and sustainable. What are your thoughts on Canada's position on this?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-03-21 16:14
On the evolution of electric vehicles and the batteries that are required, obviously we are home to a lot of critical minerals. China has taken a lead in the manufacturing of batteries. More important than batteries is the processing of the minerals and other chemicals required for the manufacturing of batteries. Some parts of Europe have also stepped forward. The United States has seen the implementation of seven or eight multi-billion dollar plants for the manufacturing of batteries.
A couple of years back, there was a meeting of battery manufacturers, mining companies, battery technologies and electric vehicle manufacturers to find out how to develop Canadian companies in this field. That meeting happened in the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, when I look at the Natural Resources Canada website, I do see the listing of 31 critical minerals, but nowhere have I found what our strategy is for fast-tracking the development of everything from mines to mineral processing to technologies to the manufacturing of batteries.
You can say that part of it is with ISED. I understand that. Don't we think that we need, broadly, a team Canada approach at the top level, under which various federal government departments join hands with the provincial governments and industry bodies to develop and actually implement it? But even before going there, I'm sure you should be working in coordination with other arms of the federal government.
Is there any plan available for us to look at that shows the path we are going to take to develop mines? The development of mines takes five to seven years. Is there any plan we can see as to the path forward, the strategy, how it's going to be implemented and the players implementing it? Is there anything available to us?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-02-16 17:26
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr. Waschuk, we heard quite a bit about natural gas here. Outside of committee, too, I hear people saying we have to cancel the new Nord Stream 2. The same people also continue to say we should ban the entire Russian dependence on natural gas by Europe. Here we have witnesses saying Canadian gas is available to service Ukraine and Europe.
Mr. Potoczny says that Ukraine has its own natural gas deposit that has to be developed. My understanding is that Ukraine is earning a couple of billion dollars or more on the transfer of natural gas through its territory to Europe.
Tell me, what is feasible with respect to natural gas? In five to 10 years' time, is it practical to ban natural gas, because Ukraine is already earning money out of it? What do you say on all this natural gas talk?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-02-16 17:29
Quickly, Mr. Waschuk, I thought the trade between Ukraine and Canada would be much greater with the people-to-people connection. We have a very strong Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. Given that, I would have expected our trade to be much bigger than it is now.
What is hindering that? In fact, somebody did mention that trade before CUFTA was bigger than after CUFTA.
What is hindering the trade between these two countries?
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