Kathryn Verdoni Philip Rafalko Security, Trade and the Economy

What is NAOC’s Economy Forum and Why is it Important?

The NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) is hosting the 2017 NATO Economy Forum on Mining, Energy and Infrastructure this Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Taking place at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto, the event is meant to showcase Toronto’s hospitality and Canada’s willingness to invest in the outside world.


The Economy Forum is a full-day conference that aims to increase interactions between Canada and its allies overseas. The conference will offer ample opportunities for Canadian businesses to participate in valuable Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Government (B2G) and Government-to-Government (G2G) meetings with foreign business and government representatives.


This year marks the ninth annual Economy Forum, which has taken place since 2009. For years, the Economy Forum has served to expand the connections between business communities and foster trade relations between countries. By hosting the Economy Forum, the NATO Association of Canada is working to advance economic cooperation between NATO member states and partners. This work is an invaluable part of the NAOC’s mission to educate Canadians about the importance of NATO, and to contribute toward the fulfillment of NATO’s mandate of fostering peace, prosperity, and security.


This 2017 forum will be continuing with similar themes to last year’s conference on mining and infrastructure development in Central and South Eastern Europe. This year’s forum will include diplomatic representation from over 12 countries and an expected audience of 100 individuals from the private and public spheres. Ambassadors or Consuls General from the following countries will be present: Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey, and Ukraine, among others.


The Economy Forum will offer a meaningful dialogue between international business and government representatives in the sectors of mining, energy and infrastructure. On the B2G level, the forum endeavours to increase Canadian trade and investment with the participating countries. This year, NAOC is placing special emphasis on encouraging small and medium enterprises to participate in trade and investment in these sectors. This will allow more Canadian businesses to break into international markets, especially ones which could not normally compete without government support. As a result, Canadian companies working in mining and infrastructure will have more places to look for business opportunities. Participating countries can expect more investment in development projects, and Canada can expect an increased flow and volume of trade between the participating countries.


On the G2G level, increased business interactions are also meant to stimulate connections between the governments of Canada and the many countries whose representatives will be present at the Economy Forum. In this way, the Economy Forum is also meant to increase political connectivity by encouraging more active dialogue between the participating countries.


It is important to frame this initiative within the larger context of Canada’s contributions to NATO’s current operations. Canadian participation in the development of a strong and secure North Atlantic region is multifaceted, and includes military, political, economic and social initiatives. As the Canadian Government prepares to send the first wave of its troops to Latvia this May under NATO’s Operation Reassurance, it is valuable to see economic cooperation as one part of an overall strategy of showing Canada’s presence on the international stage.


Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.

NATO Association of Canada
The NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) strives to educate and engage Canadians about NATO and its goals of peace, prosperity and security. The NAOC ensures Canada has an informed citizenry able to participate in discussions about its role on the world stage.