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MAC applauds progress by Government of Canada in the Americas

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) today offered congratulations to the federal government on the formal entry into force of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) effective August 15 2011.   Prime Minister Harper made this formal announcement during his ongoing trip to South America that features trade promotion and foreign relations visits to Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras.

"The Canadian mining industry is very supportive of initiatives such as the Canada-Colombia FTA," stated MAC President and CEO Pierre Gratton, "Colombia has significant potential to improve its wealth through sustainable development of its mining industry.  This agreement will support that direction."   Gratton noted that Canada's mining industry is responsible for 10 percent of Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA).  Mining CDIA contributes directly to Canadian job creation, the support of Canada's mining services sector and to Canada's global leadership in mining.

MAC also noted the importance of the foreign investment protection components of the FTA, including access to international arbitration, that would be relevant in the event of investment disputes.  These provisions are very rarely used, although they do provide companies making long-term investments in a country with an added layer of confidence.  The direct foreign investments made by mining companies to explore, design, construct and operate a mine can evolve and incur risks over a period of many decades.

MAC also acknowledges the important relationship-building steps taken with Brazil earlier in the week.  Brazil is one of the most important emerging markets and stronger ties between Canada and Brazil will pay major dividends to both countries in the future.

MAC encourages the federal government to continue with its active trade agenda, through negotiating and where possible finalizing FTAs and foreign investment protection agreements.  Completing a FIPA with China and making strong progress on the FTA with India would be significant achievements over the coming months.

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About the Mining Association of Canada

Based in Ottawa, the Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.