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Dominican-Canadian free trade talks advance

Dominican Today, Dominican Republic

Dominican-Canadian free trade talks advance

14 March 2007

SANTO DOMINGO. - The Dominican and Canadian governments yesterday began negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, whereas official contacts for a similar accord with Mexico already started.

The information was revealed by chief Trade Negotiator Julio Ortega Tous, and the Dominican ambassador in Canada, Eduardo Tejera, in a meeting with Foreign minister Carlos Morales.

Ortega Tous said that the Canadian Government confirmed the negotiations via an official notice last February 22, and Tejera described the negotiations as a foreign policy success, because until last November, Canada’s scheduled pact with the country was for 2008 or 2009, alleging that it had to first complete other trade treaties.

The Dominican negotiators began persuading Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper and International Trade minister David Emerson, resulting Ottawa’s approval.

Canada’s goal, said Tejera, is for the bilateral agreement to begin and conclude this year.

Ortega Tous said that Canada is a highly developed country, and very integrated to the economy of the United States, citing the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes Mexico.

He said that the Dr-Cafta trade deal allows the use of Canadian raw material to re-manufacture products in the Dominican Republic,

The official specified that a free trade treaty with Canada, "besides allowing us the entrance to the regulation of rules of origin with the United States, we are going to be a market of 34 million inhabitants, of very high spending power, very integrated to the global economy, and in particular, to the economy of North America."