Canada, Russia reinforce aerospace, economic ties

Canada and Russia agreed Thursday to strengthen their economic ties and increase cooperation in both aerospace and scientific research in the Artic, the home of vast hydrocarbon reserves.

Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Russian First Vice-Premier Viktor Zoubkov signed the joint declaration in Ottawa between the two countries with the biggest territories in the world as part of their Eighth Intergovernmental Economic Commission meeting.

"With trade representing some 60 percent of our economy, deepening our relationship with key countries like Russia is vital to our economic recovery," said Fast.

"As a fast-growing economy, Russia offers great potential for Canadian companies, which would strengthen our economic growth and lead to more jobs."

Bilateral trade with Russia totaled $2.8 billion in 2010, an increase of 12.3 percent from the previous year, according to Canadian government figures.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on aerospace to develop strategies to make the sector in both countries more globally competitive.

In addition, the land giants signed a statement on science and technology cooperation to map out possible collaborative areas in climate studies, energy, nanotechnology, biomedicine and Arctic research.

Canada has long defended its sovereignty in the resource-rich Arctic against potential threats from Russia.

According to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic Circle holds 13 percent of the world's oil and 30 percent of its gas, most of it in underwater.


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