Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen is heading a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians as they discuss economic development at the 10th plenary assembly of ParlAmericas in Costa Rica Aug. 22-24.
ParlAmericas is a network of national legislatures of 35 independent states of the Americas — North, Central and South — as well as the Caribbean.
Dreeshen said Canada’s participation promotes democratic dialogue and contributes to prosperity. “This year the main theme is economic development and our plenary sessions are going to be focusing on natural resource development and food security. Canada obviously has a stake in these discussions and we welcome the opportunity for dialogue with other democratic countries,” he said.
Canada’s economy has benefitted from relationships formed in the ParlAmericas. “We have brought into force more free trade agreements with Latin America than with the rest of the world combined,” said Dreeshen.
“At the bilateral levels, we have 33 Air Transport Agreements, eight Foreign Investment Protection Agreements and seven Free Trade Agreements with these member states. Our participation in multilateral discussions with these countries serves our domestic interests in terms of economic opportunity in the entire hemisphere,” he said.