Minister of International Trade announces conclusion of FIPAs at Franco Mine 2013


The Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced Monday the conclusion of foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) negotiations with Cameroon and Zambia.

Fast made the announcement accompanied by representatives of Cameroon and Zambia at Franco-Mine 2013, which was organized by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), in collaboration with the Trade Commissioner Service of the Government of Canada, as well as the Government of Quebec’s ministère des Ressources naturelles, and held during the PDAC Convention in Toronto.

A FIPA is a treaty designed to promote and protect Canadian investment abroad through legally binding provisions and to promote foreign investment in Canada.

“Our government is helping create jobs, growth and prosperity for families in every region of our country by ensuring investments by Canadian businesses are protected abroad,” said Minister Fast. “These two investment agreements will bring greater security to the business environment for Canadian companies looking for opportunities in Cameroon and Zambia, and are further proof that the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our nation’s history continues to get results for our businesses and exporters.”

Fast commented on CIM’s important role as a government partner with regard to Canada’s mining industry. “CIM has been collaborating with Canada’s Trade Commissioner network in West Africa for several years, organizing incoming and outgoing trade missions, symposiums and seminars to better support its members,” he said. “So we have a great partner in CIM.”

CIM executive director, Jean Vavrek, was very excited to have the opportunity to facilitate this significant event. “CIM has been quite active in West Africa for some time now,” said Mr. Vavrek. “The FIPA signing is a great illustration of the positive outcomes of the work being undertaken by the various stakeholders on the ground with the assistance of the Government of Canada and our trade commissioner network. These developments owe thanks to the initial commitments from key partners in Senegal and other West African countries.”

Fast also announced the opening of CIM's first African Branch in Dakar, Senegal. “The new branch in Dakar will oversee two research projects aimed at developing an analysis model for local and regional supply chain opportunities in gold mining in West Africa,” said Minister Fast. “It will also hold events to provide opportunities to share knowledge and best practices, such as CIM’s first African Gold Symposium held in Dakar last November. I am confident CIM’s new branch will make a positive contribution in the region.”

“The launch of our first branch in West Africa, as part of the newly approved CIM African District, is the first step towards establishing a strong local leadership team and will serve as a great platform for activities that will encourage the expanding Franco-Mine community to come together,” commented Vavrek.

Held for the second year in a row, Franco-Mine 2013 brought together an audience of representatives from business, financial institutions and governments, including mine ministers from Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Niger, as well as delegations from Egypt, French Guiana, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Senegal, to discuss the development of mineral resources in Francophone Africa.

Presenters at the afternoon session, including Martine Ouellet, minister of Ressources naturelles of Quebec, provided a portrait of the Quebec mining development model and the launch of Québec Mines International 2013, to be held in Quebec City, from November 11 to 14, 2013.