Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten is visiting Canada this week for a series of high-level meetings with Canadian superannuation, banking and regulatory leaders.
This is the first ever visit to Canada of a Cabinet Minister holding Minster Shorten’s portfolio responsibilities.
The Minister’s Toronto engagements included meeting representatives of the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the Royal Bank of Canada.
As of last year, the CPP had $6.2 billion Canadian dollars invested directly in Australia, a figure that represents 3.6 per cent of its total portfolio. This includes investments in the Westlink M7 toll road, as well as office and shopping mall construction projects.
OMERS is one of Canada’s leading pension funds, representing almost 430,000 employees and holding over $60 billion in net assets.
In meetings with the Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Minister discussed strategic partnerships for global investment in the Asia Pacific region including Australia in infrastructure, health and other social services. The Minister provided briefings on steps that Australia is taking to promote both foreign and domestic investment into these asset classes, including the development of a deep and liquid corporate bond market in Australia.
It is estimated direct investment in Australia from Canada is approximately $24 billion, with two-way investment between the two countries totalling around $42 billion. Australia is the 12th largest source of foreign investment in Canada.
In Montreal, the Minister will meet with the global CEO and President of Bombadier Inc. Bombadier has made significant investments in rail projects in Australia, including supplying 14 trains to the Gold Coast Light Rail project, which the Gillard Government has invested $365 million.
The Minister will also meet representatives of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. This body was established in 2003 to manage the unfunded liabilities of federal public employees’ retirement benefits, playing a similar role in Canada to Australia’s Future Fund.
The Minister will also attend the New Democratic Party of Canada’s Federal Convention. The Minister will give a keynote address to the Convention on Saturday morning. In 2011 the New Democrats became the Official Opposition of Canada for the first time.
Minister Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660