Trudeau’s Switzerland speech to spotlight women’s rights, investing in Canada

The PM is in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, where he will try to convince the world’s richest to invest in Canada.

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND—Investing in Canada and women’s rights are expected to be central themes of a speech by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Trudeau, who arrived there Monday for his second appearance at the world forum as prime minister, will use the trip to try to convince the world’s richest to invest in Canada and to uphold women’s and workers’ rights.

Trudeau’s agenda in Davos includes various bilateral meetings with political leaders as well as meetings with the heads of global giants such as Alibaba, Alphabet and Coca-Cola in addition to an economic roundtable with business leaders on Wednesday.

His scheduled speech at the gathering on Tuesday is likely to focus on the benefits of gender equality and the advancement of women in the workplace and serve as a preview of the themes to be raised at the G7 leaders’ summit Canada will host in June.

Trudeau began his day by meeting with Dr. Ulrich Spiesshofer, the president and CEO of the ABB Group, a key player in the robotics, industrial automation and power grid industries.

ABB Group made an investment in Montreal last year, which Spiesshofer said is going “tremendously well” and that the partnership with Canada is “going the right direction.”

Trudeau also met with James Smith, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters Corp. Trudeau noted that they had met two years ago about the company coming to Canada and they “moved their entire operation from the United States to Toronto.”

The prime minister’s efforts to attract investment in Canada comes amid an uncertain future for the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the sixth round of negotiations to renew the trade pact currently being held in Montreal.

The future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, meanwhile, may be less cloudy that NAFTA.

The Canadian Press has learned that the federal government is optimistic that a deal may be near that would see Canada agree to the Trans-Pacific Partnership as early as Tuesday.

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ottawa believes a deal can be struck, even though it would still like to see more headway on negotiations surrounding the automotive and cultural sectors.

Negotiations underway in Tokyo are the first high-level talks since leaders of the TPP countries met in November on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam, where Canada resisted signing on.

The 11 remaining TPP countries started working to salvage the deal after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year.

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