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Surrey Board of Trade to attend G20/B20 summit in India this month

CEO hopes to advance the conversation about a Canada-India Free Trade Agreement during the trip
Surrey is expected to become B.C.'s biggest city within the next 15 years

The Surrey Board of Trade's president and CEO will travel to Delhi, India later this month for the G20/B20 summit as part of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce delegation.

The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 forum for dialogue with the global business community. It gathers business leaders from around the world for their views on global economic and trade governance issues.

“It's important to Surrey and to the Surrey Board of Trade [to attend the summit] because we were the first organization that created a policy to advocate for a Canada-India Free Trade Agreement,” Anita Huberman told the BIV, adding that about 30 per cent of Surrey’s population is of South Asian origin.

“Our goal at the G20 summit in Delhi will be to try to enhance and instigate change in trying to move that conversation forward.”

Canada and India have had six rounds of negotiations on an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA), an agreement to bring both parties one step closer to a much-awaited Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

In a May interview, Indian counsul general of Vancouver Shri Manish told BIV he hoped both sides would finalize and announce the EPTA before the G20 summit in Delhi.

Huberman will present about Surrey and the Metro Vancouver region at a pre-summit meeting next week in Delhi.

In addition to promoting the free trade agreement, Huberman said she also hopes to gain “solid industry leads” for co-location opportunities in Surrey, as well as some industry partnerships, with a special focus on health and technology, advanced manufacturing and clean energy.

“[Surrey] has a very diverse industry base, and we're going to be the largest city in British Columbia in about 15 years, if not sooner,” said Huberman.

“So my role … is not only from a government advocacy perspective for the Canada-India Free Trade Agreement, but to also really promote our diverse industries and co-location opportunities in Surrey and within the Metro Vancouver region.”

The focus areas of the G20/B20 summit – which takes place Aug. 25-27 – include supply chain resiliency, future of work, climate change, digital transformation, financing for global economic recovery, tech and innovation, environmental, social and governance (ESG), financial inclusion and African economic integration. 

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