With its strategic role at the heart of Canadian diplomacy, Global Affairs Canada joins the event’s many prestigious partners, among which numerous Canadian and international public institutions and private-sector operators.
Its presence alongside Forum AE reassures the latter in its mission to be the premier platform for Africa-Canada business opportunities and partnerships. It is worth recalling that Canadian investors have slowly been turning once again to Africa, whose economic emergence is steadily progressing.
It bears noting that, in addition to managing the country’s diplomatic relations, Global Affairs Canada promotes Canada’s international trade and leads Canada’s many international development initiatives. According to the federal government’s latest statistics, however, Canada currently represents only 3.2% of the US$49 billion in direct investment pouring into Africa.
To support Canadian businesses so they can position themselves on a continent currently offering the best rate of return on the planet—ranging from 20% to 30%, according to analysts—Ottawa has signed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA) with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. These agreements, whose purpose is to promote greater bilateral investment between Canada and these countries, help reduce investment risk and boost investor confidence. For instance, Canadian investment in the year 2017 reached $1,479 million in Burkina Faso and $659 million in Mali.
Based on the latest available figures, the following table provides a snapshot of trade between Canada and the above-mentioned countries:
|CANADA||TOTAL TRADE||TOTAL EXPORTS||TOTAL IMPORTS|
|BURKINA FASO||$59,102,074 (2017)||$58,400,000||$702,074|
|CÔTE D’IVOIRE||$358,400,000 (2017)||$38,500,000||$319,900,000|
SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
Aside from these FIPA agreements, Canadian investors are also present in several sectors of the broader African economy, notably: transport vehicles and auto parts, meat, textiles, electrical and electronic equipment and machinery, mining and energy, with a particular focus on the last two, areas in which Canada boasts recognized expertise.