In keeping with this commitment, on October 12, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations towards the Canada-Senegal Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
A FIPA is a treaty designed to protect and promote Canadian investment abroad through legally binding provisions as well as to promote foreign investment in Canada. By ensuring greater protection against discriminatory and arbitrary practices, and enhancing predictability of a market’s policy framework, a FIPA allows investors to invest with greater confidence. Canada has consistently supported strong, rules-based investment through the negotiation of FIPAs.
Once implemented, the Canada-Senegal FIPA will facilitate investment flow, contributing to job creation and economic growth in both countries.
The FIPA includes an article on corporate social responsibility, which Canada now aims to include in all FIPAs. This demonstrates that both Canada and Senegal encourage investors to voluntarily adhere to internationally recognized standards and best practices on issues such as labour, the environment, human rights, community relations, transparency, and anti-corruption.
In order for the FIPA to be ratified, the negotiated text must undergo a thorough legal review in English and French. After the legal review is complete, the FIPA can be signed by both parties, made public, and then proceed through each country’s respective ratification process.
In Canada, the FIPA will be tabled in the House of Commons for 21 sitting-days pursuant to the Government’s treaty tabling policy. It will then come into force once the Order in Council has been approved by the Governor General and the ratification process in the Republic of Senegal has been completed.
The potential for increased Canadian investment in Senegal is important, especially in the mining, oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and transport sectors. Natural Resources Canada estimates total Canadian cumulative mining assets in Senegal were about $488 million in 2011.
Since 2006, Canada has concluded or brought into force FIPAs with 14 countries, and is in active negotiations with 12 others.