Minister Fast Completes 13th Visit to Asia and Fourth to China

Harper government is focused on ensuring Canadian companies succeed in dynamic markets abroad to create jobs, growth and prosperity at home

October 11, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today wrapped up a week-long visit to Asia by returning home on the Sichuan Airlines flight linking Shenyang, China, to Vancouver, British Columbia, which the Minister inaugurated just over a year ago. This flight brings our people closer together in a relationship already marked by extensive people-to-people ties. There are more than 1.5 million Canadians of Chinese origin.

“Increasing our exports to fast-growing markets throughout Asia will help preserve and strengthen the financial security of hard-working Canadians and create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of the country,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why we’ll continue to open new markets and encourage governments and businesses on both sides of the Pacific to work together to strengthen our trade and investment links at every level.”

While in Asia, Minister Fast attended the APEC and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meetings and the APEC CEO Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from October 3 to 6 and joined Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the APEC Economic Leaders’ and the TPP Leaders’ meetings. He then travelled to Singapore to participate in the first Canada-ASEAN Business Council Forum on October 9 and to China for a bilateral visit from October 10 to 11.

Minister Fast spent the last two days of his Asian visit in Beijing and Shenyang, China, to focus on deepening Canada’s trade and investment with China. During his visit, Minister Fast saw first-hand how Canadian companies are meeting demand from China’s growing middle class for high-quality goods and services, which include agri-food products, branded clothing and accessories, and insurance and other financial-services products.

“Thanks to our government’s frequent, high-level engagement, our exports have reached record levels and China is now our second largest export market,” said Minister Fast. “Our world-class Canadian companies are finding real success in key sectors throughout China, which is creating new opportunities and new sources of prosperity for workers and businesses here at home.”

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be visiting China from October 9 to 18, 2013, and Governor General David Johnston will visit from October 16 to 24.

In 2012, Canada’s exports to China were valued at nearly $19.4 billion, an increase of 15.2 percent year-over-year—and up 148 percent since 2006. In the same year, two-way merchandise trade exceeded $70 billion.

A backgrounder follows.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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Backgrounder - Canadian Success Stories

m0851, a leading designer of high-end handbags, leather jackets and various fashion accessories for the urban market that are designed and made in Montréal, opened its first mainland China store in Beijing on September 30, 2013. m0851 has 20 concept boutiques located in major cities in Canada and around the world (Antwerp, Hong Kong, New York, Osaka, Paris, Taipei, Tokyo), and its collections are distributed through retailers in 35 countries.

Another success story is Canada Product (China) Marketing Centre, a British Columbia company with operations in Shanghai since 2011. Aided by invitations to trade shows and strategic introductions to potential buyers by Canada’s trade commissioners, the company successfully exported more than $500,000 worth of food and beverage products to China in 2012. These products have included wine, icewine, packaged flaxseed, blueberries, pork and bottled water.

IMW Industries, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., will supply up to 416 natural-gas compressors and related technologies to China Gas Holdings for the construction of up to 310 public access compressed natural-gas (CNG) stations in China. The three-year agreement has a potential value of over $150 million. This deal was facilitated by Export Development Canada with a four-year term US$250-million credit facility to China Gas Holdings that was signed in Ottawa in August 2013.

In addition, Ballard Power Systems of British Columbia recently announced two important deals in China, both with Azure Hydrogen: to supply fuel cell backup power systems for deployment in Chinese telecom networks; and a licensing arrangement for assembly of zero-emission fuel cell modules to power buses in the Chinese market. Ballard Power Systems, which has been active in the Chinese market for several years, provides clean-energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications.