Minister Goodyear Highlights Historic Trade Agreement with the European Union in Kitchener

For immediate release
October 31, 2013

Kitchener, Ontario — The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today highlighted the benefits that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) offers to Canadian workers and families in a speech delivered at Miovision Technologies Inc.

"Our Government is committed to helping our businesses, workers and research organizations to build on the potential that exists within our communities and our regions by increasing productivity, leading to greater economic output, supporting cutting-edge companies driven by innovation and, of course, creating jobs, and bringing growth and long-term prosperity to southern Ontario," said Minister Goodyear. "These steps will also make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and manufacturers, which will create jobs and opportunities for all Canadians."

To this end, on October 18, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement in principle on CETA which will significantly boost commercial ties between the two partners, and create jobs and long-term economic growth and prosperity.

The Agreement will provide Canada with preferential market access to the EU's more than 500 million consumers and to its annual $17 trillion in economic activity. In fact, a joint study conducted with the EU, which supported the launch of negotiations, concluded that an agreement could boost Canada's income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 percent. That's equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian family's annual income by $1,000.

Canada's information communications technology (ICT) industry includes leaders in every sector, including the manufacturing of telecommunications equipment, software development and services, digital media, web, and microelectronics. The sector, which consists mainly of small companies, contributed $8.3 billion to Canada's GDP in 2012 and employed roughly 86,500 Canadians.

Canadian exports of ICT products to the EU were worth an average of $1.7 billion annually between 2010 and 2012. These exports faced an average tariff of 1 percent, with tariffs rising to as high as 14 percent on certain products.

Upon entry into force, CETA will immediately eliminate all existing EU tariffs on ICT products, including parts for visual signalling equipment (from 2.2 percent) and optical fibre cables (from 2.9 percent). With its diversified software, wireless and digital-media clusters found in almost every region of the country—from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador—the ICT industry, its innovative companies and knowledge workers across Canada will benefit from the new market access secured under CETA.

In 2011, Miovision Technologies Inc. (Miovision) received a repayable contribution of $922,500 from FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative to support the development and testing of a new product line for improving the efficiency of traffic signals within a municipality's transportation network. The Agency's investment has leveraged $1,845,000 from Investeco Private Equity Fund III and members of the Golden Triangle Angel Network.

Miovision is a creator of product and service solutions to help reduce traffic congestion, minimize the environmental impact of traffic and improve the overall safety of road networks. Since February 2011, the company has doubled in staff to 81 employees in Kitchener, Ontario, and nine in Cologne, Germany; grown its customer base by 38 percent and added customers in eight new counties bringing the company's total global reach to 45 countries across five continents.

The company stands to benefit from CETA by the immediate elimination of all existing EU tariffs on ICT products, including parts for the new product line for improved traffic signal operations. Miovision will also potentially benefit substantially from the increased exposure to the EU government procurement processes and immediate market access to the EU.

"Miovision, as well as many other companies, stand to benefit from CETA through increased trade and business opportunities and the elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers," said Kurtis McBride, Chief Executive Officer, Miovision Technologies Inc.

Since its launch in 2009, FedDev Ontario has made significant progress in creating jobs and growing the economy. To ensure southern Ontario can continue to prosper, our businesses and workers need to be more innovative and productive, and must strive to access new markets.

Economic Action Plan 2013 demonstrated continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario, including $920 million in new funding for the Agency over five years. This included $200 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario, starting on April 1, 2014.

FedDev Ontario will also continue to promote business development, job creation and self-reliant communities in rural eastern Ontario by extending the Eastern Ontario Development Program for five years.

The Agency will continue to act as a champion for the region by supporting the development of a prosperous and globally competitive southern Ontario economy.

Details of new programming will be posted on the Agency's website at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca as they become available, so stakeholders are encouraged to check back regularly.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652
FedDevMedia@FedDevOntario.gc.ca