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Canada-EU deal: ‘Now the hard part starts’

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Canada-EU deal:  ‘Now the hard part starts’

The easy part — if ever there were one — is over. Now the hard part starts. This fall marks the midpoint in the two-year timeframe for the completion of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canada and Europe have had four rounds of formal negotiations and many informal discussions. Even a volcanic eruption […]

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Canada’s nine free trade agreements

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Canada’s nine free trade agreements

Canada started signing free trade deals as far back as 1988 when it signed the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which eventually grew into the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since then, this country has signed deals with 10 other countries and one principality and has agreements pending with Ukraine, Morocco and Korea, to name a […]

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Germany on Europe’s aid to Greece: ‘We don’t see it as a bail-out’

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Germany on Europe’s aid to Greece: ‘We don’t see it as a bail-out’

German Ambassador Georg Witschel presented his credentials just over a year ago and since then the career diplomat with a PhD in international law has developed a great love for Canada — so much so that he spent six weeks of his summer on vacation in the Maritimes, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. His […]

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A personal perspective on religion and government

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
A personal perspective on religion and government

  The relationship between Islam and democracy continues to be debated by experts and laymen alike. When I was asked by Diplomat magazine to write a short piece on the matter, I considered the following: I am not an expert on Islam, nor do I personally or officially speak on behalf of all Muslims. But […]

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From the French embassy to Carnegie Hall

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
From the French embassy to Carnegie Hall

  If the ways in which they help out the Ottawa Bach Choir are any indication, it would seem that Johann Sebastian is a favourite composer among Ottawa’s foreign diplomats. The relationships started three years ago when board member Bill Caswell decided to approach some envoys about hosting fund-raising events. Once the Turkish embassy responded […]

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Philippines: A traveller’s paradise

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

My priorities as ambassador of the Philippines to Canada are to reflect the three pillars of our foreign policy: firstly, to assist in our country’s economic growth, secondly, to strengthen our national security and, thirdly, to ensure and promote the welfare of our citizens abroad. Under the third pillar and enshrined in the Philippine Constitution […]

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Albania: An investment option

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Though small in size and population, Albania has arguably emerged as the most dynamic economy in its region. Even in these tough economic times, Albania’s GDP has grown for the third year in a row. It grew by 7.8 percent in 2008 and 3.1 percent in 2009. Experts forecast the country will still see a […]

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Taiwan-Canada-China: A triple-win model to prosperity

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Taiwan-Canada-China: A triple-win model to prosperity

When Taiwan and China signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June 2010, it meant opening the door for deeper economic ties across the Taiwan Strait but it was also a significant milestone after decades of hostilities and confrontation. When Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office two years ago, he wanted to improve on […]

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