Minister Ng speaks with Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs

The European Union (EU) is one of the leading economies in the world and Canada’s second-largest trading affiliate. Through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan that includes financial measures and programs to support Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19, many Canadian small businesses are gradually reviving.

On Friday, January 15, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade had a conversation with Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs, regarding Canada and Sweden’s close relationship and shared commitment to open, rules-based trade.

The ministers reiterated the importance of the free trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, in supporting Canadian and Swedish businesses as they both enter global markets and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) presents Canadian businesses with preferential access to and excellent opportunities for growth in the EU.

Ministers Ng and Hallberg agreed that there is great potential to work together to promote and enlarge areas of mutual interest, such as the innovative high-technology sectors of clean technologies and green mining.

Accomplishing business in Sweden has never been easier as both ministers mutually came to terms with the need to foster opportunities for Canadian and Swedish businesses to grow, with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity to ensure economic prosperity for everyone. Minister Ng highlighted Canada’s work to include chapters on gender in the country’s free trade agreements and the importance of reducing barriers to trade for less-represented groups, especially Indigenous-led businesses.

Anna Kristina Elisabet Hallberg, 56 is a Swedish politician for the Social Democrats. Since September 2019, she has been the Minister for Foreign Trade and Minister for Nordic Cooperation in the Löfven II Cabinet run by Stefan Löfven.