Tokyo, Japan - May 20, 2010

Supplemental content

Address by the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway at Canadian Ambassador to Japan's Official Residence

Based on a transcript.

Thank you so much, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen, premiers, it's wonderful to be here and I want to say specifically that I know how busy each of you is and thank you that you would take the time to be here with us tonight. We appreciate that.

We understand that each time I have visited here, and I think this is the fourth time visiting Japan, it is always a highlight for me, especially when my wife can join me and everywhere we go we meet with people who have been to this wonderful residence. They all talk not just about the residence itself, but they all talk about the embassy and about the mission here and how well served they are. And Ambassador I'd just like to acknowledge you and the people that work with you, some 187 people I think, something like that, serving each of you here. Thank you for the wonderful way in which you represent our country and work with the people of Japan.

We were just at the World Expo in Shanghai and I was there with the premiers and Premier Campbell and I opening the Vancouver Pavilion and we also started the, inaugurated the Canada business program at the Canadian Pavilion.

And the reason I told you that was to tell you that at the World Expo in Shanghai one of the most popular destinations, one of the most favourite pavilions, one of the ones that people are clamouring to get into is Japan's Pavilion. We were able to get in and I want to say you have a marvellous presentation there and you can be proud of the pavilion that you have in Shanghai.

In a day where we see the benefits of open trade around the world and where we see the global economy starting to move ahead again, we hear a lot about emerging economies and strong economies like China and India. Quite rightly we understand that. But we also need to keep in mind as Canadians that Japan's economy is larger then both China and India put together. And we want to maintain not just the friendships here, but we want to see the business continue to move ahead also.

And so I'm meeting today with some of the representatives from the largest shipping companies in the world. And also meeting with minister of land and transport and others, we are continuing to get the message out that as a government in Canada we continue to invest in the Asia-Pacific Gateway corridor to make sure that your products when they, when you're making your shipping decisions and choosing Port of Vancouver or Prince Rupert, your products are being dealt with efficiently, effectively and are being moved into the heartland of North America in a highly competitive way.

And as you continue to make the important decisions on where to do business, where to invest and where to expand, I think you are aware that Canada's banking system has been declared to be the most stable in the world. Our business and corporate taxes are the most competitive. And we continue to offer a climate that is open to investment and open to relationships and collaboration to help you to be successful for you, for your customers and for your shareholders.

It was wonderful to see so many people from your country at our Olympics in Vancouver and it was wonderful to see your athletes and we are always nervous because your athletes are so accomplished. But we still think we have a few years of advantage against you in hockey. So we hope to maintain that for a while longer.

So we are confident about our hockey. But I have to say most Canadians do not have the courage to take you on in sumo.

But there is another wrestling match that's going on globally. And it is the wrestling match of competition between companies and between organizations. And there are three premiers here tonight, premiers of our three western provinces who have done something very significant just recently in Canada that is very historic.

In Canada it is somewhat ironic that between provinces there are sometimes barriers to trade that are even stronger then between countries.

But these three premiers have recognized that to make business easier for you to do and to help you to be as competitive as possible, we need harmonization, not just on the regulatory side but also on the investment side.

And so they just recently made an announcement which they will talk about in some detail in a few minutes, but I want you to know from a national perspective these three premiers have caught the attention of all of the premiers in our country. And as a matter of fact of our whole country by announcing a new western relationship between these three western provinces. One in which they will work together in a harmonized way to maximize of course our economies of these provinces but also to maximize the opportunities for you. It has been an historic achievement, an historic thing that they have done and we congratulate them for this.

So thank you for your generosity, thank you for your hospitality which is always so evident to us and thank you as we work together to see people in Japan, people in Canada continue to grow and to become prosperous and to have the things in life that matter most. Thank you for that.

Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway