Greater opportunities for Canadian companies doing business with the European Space Agency

For over 68 years, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has been negotiating bilateral security instruments with other countries and international organizations to promote trade and economic growth by facilitating Canadian businesses’ participation in foreign government and international organization procurement contracts requiring the exchange of classified government information.

Canada has recently signed its 24th such instrument with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Negotiated by PSPC’s Industrial Security Sector, and in line with the Government of Canada priorities in keeping Canada’s economy strong and growing, and positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world by allowing greater trade and assisting in pursuing opportunities in the sectors that depend on the exchange of classified information and assets, this security instrument will improve industrial cooperation between Canada and the ESA with respect to the protection of Canadian protected information and ESA RESTRICTED information. It will also ensure the ability of Canadian entrepreneurs to partner and participate in ESA contracts, programs and projects.

How the instruments work

The bilateral security instruments set out a mutual understanding and commitments with respect to the protection of classified information and assets when in foreign custody. For example, they provide assurances regarding personnel and organizational security clearances, outline the processes for requesting a visit to a classified facility in another country, create rules for document transfer and for the disposal or return of classified information, provide assurances against third party disclosure, and outline the processes for reporting and investigating security breaches.

Benefits to Canada and Canadian companies

These bilateral security instruments allow Canadian industries to gain access to new markets; without a security instrument in place, Canadian suppliers may not be able to access potential foreign markets because they are unable to bid on procurement opportunities involving classified information.

The bilateral security instruments contribute to Government of Canada priorities on strengthening relationships with allies and promoting Canadian economic prosperity. This safeguards national security interests by allowing trade and deepening business relationships with foreign countries and international organizations in the sectors that depend on the exchange of classified information and assets, such as defence and security, aerospace, maritime, nuclear and space.

The bilateral security instruments also support the modernization of procurement practices to reflect and accommodate the globalization of markets, increase the diversity of bidders on government contracts involving sensitive information, and provide more effective delivery of programs and services.

Canada currently has international security instruments in place with Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, the ESA, European Union institutions, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Canadian organizations thinking about contracting or subcontracting with a foreign government, international organization, or business can learn more about international contract security requirements on PSPC’s website.

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