Canada and France will set up a new trade-focused partnership that will be aimed at helping Canada and its businesses survive the global downturn.
The two countries have agreed to set the framework for a new regional trade forum that will help each other’s companies thrive, the two ministers said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
In addition to helping each other, the agreement will help create jobs in both countries, the ministers said.
Canada has long been looking to diversify its economy away from the petroleum and energy sectors, but the trade deal could help it do that, said Michael Ferguson, the chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Montreal office.
“We’re seeing a shift in our manufacturing base, which is the biggest part of our economy,” he said.
“This is a huge opportunity for Canada and for France to make a very positive impact.”
Canada and France are two of the biggest trading partners in the world.
In 2016, the U.S. alone exported more than $1.4 trillion worth of goods to Canada.
The Canadian government has been pushing for a trade deal with the U,S.
and other countries in the wake of a devastating global recession that has been blamed on trade barriers between the two countries.
France and Canada have long had similar economic interests, but in recent years they have been in a more conciliatory mode, with Canada moving more aggressively toward liberalizing its financial sector and French politicians supporting greater economic freedoms.
However, this is a major shift for France, which was previously seen as a leading player in the European Union.
The European Union has been in the midst of a trade war with the United States over the U’s policies, but France has been more aggressive, particularly in the U.-Korea free trade deal.