Harper Sings Economic Development Pact with Senegal

The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was still on his visit in Senegal on Friday before he attends The Summit of La Francophonie, when he announced that improved trade possibilities between the countries can take place. Harper and Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, gave a joint statement declaring that they have signed an economic development pact which will make it easier for Canadians to do business in Senegal, and vice versa.

The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement is aimed to aid the citizens and businesses to conveniently invest in each country, developing a friendlier business environment. Harper admitted on Friday that even though Canada’s association with Senegal has been strictly based on humanitarian aid, the trade between the two countries has increased in recent years at the same time.  He mentioned that “Senegal is taking important strides toward a more robust and transparent economy.” And added that “the initiatives we are announcing today will support our efforts to promote greater trade and investment between our two countries and a more accountable and friendly business environment.”

Harper has stated that he intends to communicate his concern about human rights issues in Congo at the upcoming French-nations conference. However, Harper said that he will not boycott the summit as he has made Congo’s human rights failings very clear. Harper mentioned that “Minister Bernard Valcourt has already visited Congo to express our concerns about human rights violations and we will express these preoccupations very clearly in that respect.” “And it will be very clear.”

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