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Canada, Benin sign investment protection agreement | 09 January 2013

Canada, Benin sign investment protection agreement

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

Canada and Benin have announced the signing of a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), a treaty Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says will boost investor confidence.

The FIPA will not alter any existing laws or regulations in either country, but will establish legally binding provisions, such as on non-discrimination and the free movement of capital, designed to create a rules-based investment relationship between the two parties. It also aims at ensuring greater protection against discriminatory and arbitrary practices, and at enhancing market policy predictability.

According to the Canadian government, there is significant potential for increased Canadian investment in Benin. It argues that, once implemented, the agreement will facilitate investment flows and help create jobs and economic growth. The FIPA also includes an article on corporate social responsibility, which Canada now aims to include in all its future FIPAs.

Both countries will now proceed with their respective ratification process.

"Our government is committed to creating the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete and succeed internationally which generates jobs and economic growth here at home," Harper said. "The investment agreement signed today will provide better protection for Canadian companies operating in Benin and further strengthen economic ties between our two countries."