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Cameron, Harper push to ratify EU free trade deal

British and Canadian PMs hope free trade deals spur growth


January 27, 2012
by The Canadian Press

DAVOS, Switzerland—Ratifying a trade deal between Canada and Europe would help the struggling economy regain its competitive edge, says British Prime Minister David Cameron.

In a speech urging Europe to take decisive action towards stemming its financial crisis, Cameron told delegates at the World Economic Forum that free trade pacts are key.

“Rather than trying to involve everyone at once, let us get some bilateral trade deals done,” he said, adding the EU should finalize agreements with Canada, India and Singapore by the end of 2012.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also stressed free trade as necessary for private sector growth.

“As I think everybody knows, we’ve been doing relatively better during a period of considerable global trouble,” he said. “But we’re continually looking at ways that we can improve our performance and create jobs for Canadians.”

Harper says his main approach is to promote Canadian energy and natural resources.

The economic and banking turmoil in Europe has been a major point of discussion at the meeting, as the EU searches for ways to foster economic growth and job creation without increasing debt.

Cameron says Europe needs to increase the size of its bailout and deal quickly with Greece’s debt in order to keep the short-term crisis under wraps.