VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — Port Metro Vancouver on March 27 said that it welcomes the joint announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, that Canada and Japan will launch negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.  

Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer, Port Metro Vancouver welcomed the development, “Japan is one of Port Metro Vancouver’s top three trading partners, representing more than 10 percent of total volume through Canada’s largest gateway. The trading relationship between Canada and Japan is vital to long-term growth and prosperity.”  

Japan is the world's third largest national economy, Port Metro Vancouver’s fourth largest import economy and second largest export economy. In 2011, top export cargoes to Japan, by volume included: metallurgical coal, grain, specialty crops and forest products; and top import cargoes to Canada included: vehicles and auto parts, household goods and electronics.