Canada City Alliance on a mission to drum up EU investment

Biggest cities highlighting infrastructure opportunities on three-day tour.

MADRID, SPAIN — A group representing some of Canada’s largest cities is on a three-day EU investment mission n support of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The 11 member cities (Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Québec City, Winnipeg, Waterloo Region and Saskatoon) represent 54% of Canada’s population, 56% of Canada’s employment, 59% of its GDP, and between 2007 and 2012, 72% of GDP growth and 90% of jobs growth.

Recognizing the massive opportunity of Canada’s largest trade deal ever offering market access to a European Union population of 500 million people, this week the Consider Canada City Alliance Inc. is on a three-city EU investment mission in support of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The group will visit Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan and emphasize matchmaking sessions between European companies, significant private investors and economic development executives from Canada’s major cities. Canadian investment seminars will detail major growth opportunities in infrastructure innovation and services, advanced manufacturing and sustainable technology.

“Canada is enjoying an infrastructure super-cycle,” said Bruce Graham, Chairman of the Consider Canada City Alliance and president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “Canadian Manufacturing & Exporters estimates that private energy and mining-related projects added to public infrastructure projects over the next five years will be valued at a minimum of $350 billion.”

To build out these huge projects, he said Canadian cities need help from European engineering services firms, architecture firms, advanced manufacturing tool companies, financial and transportation companies.

The Alliance notes European interests are expressing interest in investing in Canadian companies in the renewable energy, information and communication technology, food processing, pharmaceuticals and natural medicine, and advanced manufacturing sectors.

The mission is showcasing more than 150 investment targets and has scheduled more than 200 one-on-one meetings with investors looking to expand into Canada.

Through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European investors now have access to an economy with a total output of $18.6 trillion and a population of 460 million consumers.

The European Commission estimates CETA could boost bilateral trade between Canada and the EU by 23%, or $37.7 billion.