Minister Champagne concludes visit to Europe

Minister continues to promote Canada as the strategic partner of choice for key European allies and strikes new arrangements to help meet growing demand for green mobility

MUNICH, Dec. 6, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, concluded a visit to Belgium and Germany where he met with political and business leaders to promote Canada as a hub for zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, mineral sourcing and processing, and battery production, as well as to discuss new areas of collaboration for research and innovation.

In Brussels, Minister Champagne met with Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and European Commissioner for Competition. They discussed ways to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in light of the current geopolitical context and announced that Canada will be entering into formal negotiations for closer collaboration under the European Commission's Horizon Europe, the world's largest science, research and innovation program. Minister Champagne also met with Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, to discuss economic challenges and opportunities for both Canada and the European Union.

In Germany, Minister Champagne spoke before more than 400 executives at Volkswagen's global management conference. The Minister and Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume announced that the automaker was now looking to Canada to build its first battery plant in North America. In Stuttgart, Minister Champagne attended Mercedes-Benz's Executive Board meeting to explore ways to further collaborate with the company on green batteries, steel and aluminum. The Minister also met with BMW in Munich to promote Canada as a strategic supplier of choice when it comes to green mobility.

Finally, while in Germany, Minister Champagne met with leading magnet manufacturer Vacuumschmelze (VAC) to initiate a new partnership to work together to strengthen Canada's domestic EV supply chain.

Quote

"Canada has what the world needs to succeed in the 21st century economy. We are committed to attracting private sector investment and to working with industries and businesses to help them innovate, grow, create jobs and be competitive. European companies recognize that Canada is one of the best places in the world to do business. This week was an opportunity to reiterate that Canada is a competitive investment destination, particularly when it comes to clean technologies, critical minerals, and automotive and battery supply chains. I will continue to work tirelessly to attract more investments to Canada that will create well-paying jobs and spur economic growth."

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • Canada is a reliable, stable and attractive economic partner and the only country in the world with free-trade access to the entire G7 and European Union.

  • Trade between Canada and the EU has seen impressive growth since implementation of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Two-way trade grew to a record high of $100 billion in 2021, an increase of 33.7% compared to the 2016 level.

  • Recent investments in the battery supply chain by companies like Germany's BASF and Belgium's Umicore demonstrate the strong and growing potential for collaboration between Canada and European investors in the clean technology and automotive sectors.

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