Presentation on theme: "Building and Expanding Opportunities for Agriculture WTO Public Forum – October 4, 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Building and Expanding Opportunities for Agriculture WTO Public Forum – October 4, 2007
Agenda Canadas Agriculture Industry About CAFTA The Importance of Trade Benefits of Expanded Trade The Doha Round – Time for a Deal Issues and Challenges Influencing Economic Agendas CAFTAs Perspective
Canadas Industry Approximately 7% of Canadas land is farmland – 167 million acres / 67.6 million hectares. There are over 229,000 farms across Canada. The average farm size is 728 acres / 295 hectares. Canadas processing industries produce value-added products across a number of commodities.
Canadas Exporters Approximately 92% of Canadas farms produce commodities that are exported or sold domestically at international market prices. Sales of export commodities account for over 80% of annual farm receipts – over $33 Billion in 2006.
About CAFTA CAFTAs roots go back to 1998; we are a consortium of Canadian agricultural and agri-food exporters. CAFTAs members represent most of Canadas agricultural and agri-food exports – and the entire value chain. CAFTA is committed to liberalizing trade through the systematic reduction of trade distorting barriers.
The Importance of Trade Canada is a trading nation – in agriculture and in many other industries. –Canada is the worlds fourth largest agricultural and agri-food exporter. In agriculture, Canadas overall production exceeds our level of domestic consumption. Maintaining a viable agriculture industry requires a healthy international trade environment.
The Benefits of Expanded Trade Countries improve their standard of living – by obtaining needed goods in exchange for things they already produce. Accessing higher value markets increases economic activity - leading to economic diversification and stability. Expanded trade increases a countrys productivity by employing its land, labour and capital where they are most productive
The Benefits of Expanded Trade Increasing export opportunities allows the agriculture industry to build capacity. Expanded capacity allows for process improvements – resulting in greater yields and higher quality products. Increased trade attracts investment – allowing for greater degrees of innovation. Consumers benefit from greater variety in the commodities and products available to them.
Issues and Challenges Canada faces challenges both internally and externally in terms of expanding trade. –Canada takes a strong defensive position on dairy, eggs and poultry products. –Grains, oilseeds and meats are among the most sensitive products in the world – they are among Canadas major exports. Variations in import specifications from country to country present challenges for Canadian exports. Strong Canadian dollar – currently trading near par with the U.S. – presents additional challenges.
The Doha Round The Doha Work plan outlined three ambitious outcomes: –Substantial improvements in market access –Reductions, leading to a phase out, of export subsidies –Substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support Outcomes of the round will benefit trading nations – like Canada – and will help to lift millions of people around the world from poverty.
Time for A Deal in Agriculture Tariffs levels on agriculture and agri-food products remain extremely high: –Average world tariffs are at 60% compared to 4% for industrial goods. –Some agricultural tariffs exceed 500% Current tariffs and subsidies distort the world agricultural market by upwards of $50 Billion annually According to the World Bank, world income would increase by $582 billion through liberalized agricultural trade.
Influencing Economic Agendas Overall, the benefits of increased trade can be significant – however, at times, adjustment is necessary. Failing to respond proactively to necessary adjustment will delay the benefit. Increased trade is a powerful economic engine; the main driver of development and growth– and builds lasting capacity. Projected increases in world demand for food – particularly in the developing world – suggests the time for action is now.
CAFTAs Perspective As one of the worlds largest exporters of agriculture and agri-food, Canada will benefit from expanded trade opportunities. As one of the more prosperous nations in the world, Canada has a responsibility to support other nations efforts to build their own economic capacity – through trade.
For More Information Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance Suite 308 – 151 Slater Street Ottawa, ON Canada K1P 5H3 Phone – (613) 560-0500 www.cafta.org Thank you, merci