DFATD Announcement of FM Baird Visit

On July 22 the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development confirmed previous reporting in the Mongolia press that Foreign Minister Baird will be visiting Mongolia later this week:

In his first trip to Mongolia, Baird will discuss the role of the Canadian government and of Canadian businesses in contributing to the democratic development of the country, including public service reform and mining governance.

Since public service reform and mining governance have been identified as focus areas for any Canadian development assistance in the past, the above phrasing could hint that the bilateral program will finally be announced, as I have speculated, but it doesn’t quite say that, yet.

Note that the DFATD page on bilateral relations now writes about “Canada’s international development bilateral assistance program in Mongolia” (as of July 14 revision) whereas the phrase had previously been “Canada’s international development assistance program in Mongolia”. Perhaps this editorial change was made in anticipation of an announcement.

“We are committed to establishing stronger bilateral and commercial ties with East Asia in order to create more opportunities for job creation and growth at home and abroad,” said Baird. “Promoting Canadian interests and Canadian values will be central in all of my discussions.

Beyond the political and development links between Canada and Mongolia are commercial ties, of course. Just like Mongolia has been added to the “countries of focus” list for aid by DFATD, so it is included in the Global Markets Action Plan as an “emerging market – specific opportunities”. To the extent that a FIPA would be part of strengthening “stronger bilateral and commercial ties” with Mongolia, I would guess that FM Baird will be pushing for a re-start of the FIPA talks.

 

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