Strengthening the rules-based global trading system has been at the heart of Canada’s economic recovery plan. Canada is one of the 20 founding members (since 1961) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). OECD has 37 members from North and South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific and represents about 80% of World trade and investment.
Over the last two days, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, and the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, took part in a virtual Ministerial Council Meeting hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). During the meeting, OECD members endorsed a joint statement reinforcing their commitment to support businesses, workers, and people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the session on Globalisation and the Recovery: The Role of Trade and Investment, Minister Ng emphasized the need to use trade policies as a force for positive change. She reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to working with partners like the OECD to reinforce a rules-based, stable, and predictable international trading system that drives economic recovery and growth—ensuring it benefits all Canadians, including women and small businesses, as well as racialized and Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Minister Ng highlighted Canada’s leadership to develop concrete actions to address the economic impacts of COVID-19 with international partners, including as chair of the Ottawa Group, which focuses on World Trade Organization reform.
“Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s economy and millions of Canadian jobs depend on open and reliable international trade. Global cooperation and meetings like this one are crucial as the world works together to help our businesses, workers, and communities recover economically from this crisis, and ensure that trade is a key driver of that recovery.” She said.
While underlining that digital trade will be a key driver of economic recovery, competitiveness, and growth, Minister Ng encouraged the OECD to pursue its work on digital transition to help identify the policies that will help Canada’s businesses and people to reap the full benefits of digital trade.
At the session on Global Economic Recovery Plans, Minister Fortier highlighted the actions the government is taking to support Canadians and businesses and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and spoke of Canada’s contributions toward the world’s most vulnerable.
She said: “We know that a strong and resilient economy depends on the health and safety of the people who power it. We can only get through this unprecedented crisis by standing together and supporting one another. This week’s conversations were key to strengthening global economic cooperation as we continue to fight this virus and its evolving challenges and pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”
Minister Fortier stressed the need for countries to continue to work together to contain the virus and mitigate job losses, as well as to ensure a strong, resilient, and green recovery that leaves no one behind. She emphasized the importance of policy frameworks with a strong focus on people’s quality of life over the long term.
Minister Fortier was also the lead speaker at the session on The Way Out of the Crisis, where she spoke about the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on women and stressed the importance of women’s success for the global economic recovery and beyond. She highlighted Canada’s Gender-based Analysis Plus framework and commitment to helping more women get back into the workforce through the development of an action plan for women in the economy.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation whose goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being for all.