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Chen Deming: Enhance China-Canada Trade and Economic Cooperation for a Better and Faster Common Development

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming attended the plaque-unveiling ceremony of Canada China Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) and addressed a business luncheon hosted by CCCC and Canada China Business Council (CCBC) on September 25 local time, in Toronto, Canada. Peter McGovern, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, attended and read out the congratulatory note to the inauguration of CCCC by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Totally 400 people from China and Canada’s governments and business circles attended and luncheon.

Mr. Chen said that, in recent years, the bilateral trade and economic cooperation has been developing steadily and made great achievements. In 2011, China-Canada trade reached US$47.45 billion, up by 27.8% year on year; and that is expected to reach US$50 billion in 2012. Investment cooperation between the two countries develops fast. Canada has become one of the most important overseas investment destinations for China, and the bilateral investment cooperation is more and more pluralistic.

Mr. Chen pointed out that, currently, China-Canada bilateral trade accounts only for 1.3% of China’s total foreign trade and 5.2% of Canada’s total; China-Canada bilateral direct investment also only makes up 1% of their respective attracted FDI. It does not match the economic strength of the two nations and their strategic partnership, and shows huge development potential. The two sides have completed economic complementarities study in August, and signed investment protection agreement at the beginning of September. Based on this, the two countries will tap potential, overcome obstacles, enhance trade and economic cooperation together for a better and faster development.

Mr. Chen stressed that, against the increasing downturn of global economy, as two major economies in eastern and western hemispheres. China and Canada’s further deepening bilateral trade and economic cooperation is not only beneficial for revitalizing economy and promoting employment for the two countries, and also conducive to boosting confidence in world economic recovery. Therefore, He proposed to further strengthen China-Canada trade and economic cooperation in the following three aspects: First, strengthen cooperation mechanisms, create better conditions for trade between enterprises of the two sides, and actively discuss how to establish closer trade and economic cooperation relations. Second, jointly promote the achievements of the economic complementarities study to transform into concrete steps for advancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation, so as to boost the in-depth development of bilateral trade and investment. Actively expand import from Canada, and promote the balanced development of the bilateral trade; welcome Canadian enterprises to invest in China as always; and continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Canada, and hope Canada to rationally look at the investment and M&A activities of Chinese enterprises in Canada and grant them fair treatment. Third, strengthen provincial and municipal cooperation and enhance the overall China-Canada cooperation level. Encourage provinces and municipals of the two nations to form a multi-tiered and all-round pattern for cooperation and development as soon as possible; and guide enterprises of the two sides to reinforce cooperation in energy resources, energy conservation and environmental protection, information technology, aerospace, automobiles and auto parts, agriculture and fishery, infrastructure, etc.

When in Toronto, Mr. Chen held breakfast meeting with Chinese enterprises in Canada, listened to them of their difficulties and problems in operation, and conducted in-depth communication with entrepreneurs on expanding China-Canada trade and economic cooperation.

The Chinese enterprises in the delegation held China-Canada investment meeting and matchmaking meeting in Toronto, and signed related cooperation agreements.

Zhang Junsai, China's ambassador to Canada, and Fang Li, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Toronto, attended the above activities.
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