Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

May 8, 1997 No. 84




Minister for International Trade Art Eggleton today welcomed the signing of the first two bilateral agreements between Canada and the Republic of Armenia: a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement and an agreement on trade and commerce.

"These two agreements will signal a new phase in our economic relationship with Armenia," said Mr. Eggleton. "Ours is yet an untapped partnership."

The Agreement on Trade and Commerce provides a framework of rights, obligations and agreed rules for the conduct of trade and commercial relations between Canada and the Republic of Armenia. Through this agreement, Canada and Armenia will extend to each other the lowest tariff rates that they grant to any other country. This provision is also known as most-favoured-nation treatment.

The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) will reduce the risk for Canadian companies investing in Armenia. A FIPA is designed to promote and protect foreign investment through legally binding rights and obligations. The FIPA incorporates key provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement's investment chapter, including: national treatment, right to transfer funds, and rules for the settlement of any investment disputes. Agreements under this model have also been signed with Lebanon, Croatia, Egypt, Thailand, Ukraine, Latvia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Philippines, South Africa, Romania, Ecuador, Barbados, Panama and Venezuela.

These agreements are expected to be a catalyst for increased trade and investment between Canada and Armenia. Since becoming an independent nation in 1991, Armenia has applied for membership to the World Trade Organization.