Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrapped-up his third official visit to China (on Monday). While in Beijing, the Prime Minister and China’s Premier Li Keqiang agreed to a series of initiatives under the Canada-China Joint List of Outcomes 2014, including the establishment of an economic and financial strategic dialogue to enhance Canada-China commercial ties and the expansion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Cooperation to increase exports to China. The leaders also agreed to a set of measures to support the increased use of renminbi in trade, commerce and investment between the two countries, which will help establish North America’s first offshore renminbi centre in Canada. The Prime Minister also met with President Xi Jinping and discussed the bilateral relationship and international issues of mutual interest.
As part of promoting bilateral commercial trade, the Prime Minister met with a Canadian business delegation from a wide range of sectors to discuss the tremendous opportunities for Canadian companies to invest and grow their businesses in China. He also witnessed a series of commercial signings between Canadian and Chinese firms which are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in the Canadian market. Lastly, while in Beijing, the Prime Minister took part in the Canada-China Business Forum where he engaged business leaders from both countries and highlighted the importance of the Canada-China commercial relationship.
While in Hangzhou, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will open new trade offices in the Chinese cities of Hangzhou, Xi’an, Xiamen and Tianjin. This will help Canadian businesses flourish in some of the fastest growing regions of China, bringing Canada’s trade network to a total of 15 locations across the country.
Finally, on the first day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, the Prime Minister strongly encouraged members to accelerate trade and investment liberalization, highlighting significant measures that Canada has taken to further facilitate international commercial flows with the region.
During his visit to China, the Prime Minister was accompanied by John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, James Moore, Minister of Industry, Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors.
- China is Canada’s second-largest single-country trading partner. In 2013, two-way merchandise trade between the two countries reached $73.2 billion and accounted for 7.7 per cent of Canada’s world trade.
- APEC’s 21 member economies account for almost 2.8 billion people and over half of the world’s GDP. They include Canada’s top four trading partners: the United States, China, Mexico and Japan.
- In October 2014, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement came into force, which provides a rules-based investment regime and greater investor confidence.
- Prime Minister Harper made official visits to China in December 2009 and in February 2012. Since 2006, there have been some 70 visits by Federal Canadian Ministers to China.
“China is an economic and global business powerhouse. During my visit, I was pleased to meet with Chinese leaders and strengthen the foundation for future commercial collaboration that will help Canadian companies access the incredible opportunities this crucial market has to offer. This will in turn generate jobs and economic growth in Canada.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with APEC leaders at the Summit in Beijing and share with them the many measures that Canada is taking to stimulate international trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper