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Corin Robertson

Deputy High Commissioner to Canada

Part of UK in Canada

14th June 2013 Ottawa, Canada

G8: Lough Erne: A Summit for Growth

As Chair of the G8, the UK will host a G8 Summit on 17-18 June in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will join David Cameron, and leaders from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the US and the EU to address global economic and international security issues together.

Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA and UK will meet at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit 17-18 June.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA and UK will meet at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit 17-18 June.

Top of the G8 agenda, and a personal priority for David Cameron will be achieving real progress on three issues which are critical for growth, prosperity and economic development across the world: advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency. Trade. Tax. Transparency – otherwise known as the “3Ts”, all of which are crucial for sustainable growth.

These three priorities are, of course, all linked. David Cameron talks of a “golden thread” linking open societies, open government and open economies – supporting sustainable economic growth and development through promoting transparency, accountability, fairness, trade and rule of law.

So what, exactly, do we mean by Trade, Tax and Transparency?

Trade is key to economic growth and job creation. In late 2008, global trade saw its steepest fall since the Great Depression. More than four years on it has still not fully recovered. The EU is currently negotiating free trade agreements with both Canada and Japan, and is on track to start negotiations with the US very soon.

CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement, will bring great benefits to both Canada and the EU: an estimated $12 billion boost to Canada’s annual income alone and a 20% boost to bilateral trade. Not something to be sniffed at – and we hope to conclude it very soon. And together, the EU and US make up about at third of global trade. An EU-US deal could add over £100 billion to EU GDP and over £80 billion to US GDP.

Canada has other trade deals too in the pipeline, not least the Trans Pacific Partnership. If G8 countries complete all of their current and proposed trade deals it could boost the income of the whole world by more than $1 trillion.

On transparency, we want to make progress on mandatory reporting of payments by companies – and we strongly welcome PM Harper’s announcement this week committing Canada to delivering just that for the mining, oil and gas sectors. We know this is a challenging ambition, but it is essential that citizens know how much revenue their governments are getting from businesses and can hold their governments to account for the way the money is being used.

On tax, we want to take firm action against tax evasion and avoidance. Strengthening international standards will allow countries to collect the tax that is due to them, enabling them to strengthen public services in areas like health and education. It will protect public finances and improve confidence in the global economic system.

All of these measures bring benefits to G8 citizens, but also to other countries struggling to achieve security and prosperity in this tough world. David Cameron and Stephen Harper share a focus on Africa’s long-term future, where the 3Ts bring enormous potential benefit. The G8 will be looking particularly at improving security in the Sahel region, where Canada is showing great leadership in the Global Counter Terrorism Forum.

So, a challenging, but important agenda. We’re delighted to have Canada at the table with us, helping to drive forward G8 leadership in tackling these pressing global economic challenges.

Corin – @CorinRobertson

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About Corin Robertson

Corin Robertson has served as Deputy High Commissioner to Canada since August 2011.