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31 Mar 2009

An international organization promoting sustainable trade sets up shop in Montréal

Isabelle Ouellet, of Développement international Desjardins, Noemi Perez, of FAST, Alan DeSousa, of the City of Montréal, Jason Potts, President of FAST, Laure Waridel, cofounder of Equiterre, André Gamache, President of Montréal International, Pierre Simard, of the Ministère des Relations Internationales. Photo: Patrick Bernath

FAST, which stands for Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade, recently inaugurated its secretariat in Montréal. This international NGO’s mission is to increase sustainable production and trade through financing adapted to small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries. The Ministère des Relations internationales assisted in establishing the secretariat of FAST in Montréal through the Fonds de développement International de Montréal (fund for the international development of Montréal).

FAST has around one hundred members from 26 countries that share this vision of sustainable development: SME producer organizations, commercial and socially-oriented financial institutions, international development organizations, etc. In Québec, FAST members include most notably Développement International Desjardins and EQUITA (Commerce équitable Oxfam-Québec).

According to the organization, the establishment of FAST’s secretariat in Montréal marks “an important step in the growth of the global sustainable financial services sector.”

The Québec government, along with Canada Economic Development and the City of Montréal, backs the fund for the international development of Montréal. This fund, managed by Montréal International, is intended to attract and retain international organizations in the city. Québec’s contribution is part of its Hospitality Policy for international organizations. Montréal has nearly seventy international organizations established within its territory.

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