PRIME Minister Stephen Harper on Monday participated in a question and answer session hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade, where he discussed the benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The discussion was moderated by President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade Iain Black. Harper was introduced by the Chair of The Vancouver Board of Trade, Elio Luongo.

“I was pleased to meet today with members of the Vancouver business community to discuss the economy and measures that our Government is taking to help Canadian businesses prosper at home and abroad,” said Harper. “In addition to reducing taxes and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens and red tape, our Government is providing unprecedented access to international markets, including through the historic agreement in principle that was recently reached with the European Union on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.”

Once implemented, the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement will create thousands of new jobs for Canadians and provide Canadian businesses with preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and to its annual $17 trillion in economic activity.

Businesses, workers and families who are engaged in or rely on key sectors of British Columbia’s economy, including forestry and wood products, agriculture, fish and seafood, and professional services industries, stand to benefit significantly from the preferred access to the EU market.

The EU is British Columbia’s fourth-largest trading partner and export destination.