The World is Our Oyster: Canadian R&D Service Providers Welcome Greater Trade Liberalization
March 09, 2006

Ottawa, March 9, 2006... Canadian Research and Development (R&D) Service Providers are ready, willing and able to compete and provide superior services in an open and global free trade marketplace according to a new Report calling for accelerating removal of trade barriers or trade limitations under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

The report, titled Impacts of Free Trade on R&D Services in Canada, is the result of a survey conducted of Canadian Contract Research Organizations (CROs)-providers of R&D services paid for by a third party. (See Annex for highlights).

Kevin Wennekes, report author and VP Research, CATAAlliance, said, "Our goal was to find out how Canadian R&D Service Providers have benefited or been impacted by trade in R&D services under NAFTA, and gain their insights into how they believe Providers might be affected by similar opportunities under the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services."

Wennekes added, "While there was concern regarding the prospect of having R&D services for the Canadian market taken overseas where it often can be done cheaper because of lower labour costs, respondents believed that R&D services are characterized by the need for highly educated, experienced staff, employed by innovative companies using cutting-edge technologies, therefore clients are normally willing to pay more upfront to get it done right, in Canada."

Guidance to Policy Makers

John Reid, CATAAlliance, President noted, "CATA conducted this project in order to provide evidence to policy makers about the attitudes of CROs towards liberalized R&D services under the WTO. The results of this survey could help the Government of Canada decide on future positions it could take in international trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization."

"CATA is committed to growing the global competitiveness of its members, 80 per cent of which are currently active exporters. Of course we have a vested interest in trade policy and opening barrier free markets for Canadian goods and services," he added.

Reid concluded, "What these results demonstrate is that there is a definite appetite among businesses for greater access to global opportunities. Opening up of trade agreements with other countries through GATS will be a critical enabler, much like NAFTA has been and continues to be for many of Canada's innovative enterprises."

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The report 'Impacts of Free Trade on R&D Services in Canada' is available by email to Cathi Malette.

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About CATAAlliance: The business of technology
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA
Alliance)is the biggest business development association for producers and users of advanced technology. The only organization representing all sectors of the economy, CATA's umbrella of special-interest, municipal, provincial and allied organizations directly reaches 20,000 technology executives and an additional 22,000 technology users. Dedicated to making Canadian organizations world-class makers and adopters of technology, CATA creates strategic partnerships, strengthens communities and networks, and promotes supportive public policy. For more than a quarter of a century CATA has been stimulating growth, driving commercialization and growing the advanced technology export industry for the Canadian economy. More information about CATA can be found on the CATA Web site: http://www.cata.ca