State of Trade Issue 5: Canadian Companies Continue to Benefit from Increased Bilateral Trade

Canadian exports to China have reached record levels thanks to the Harper government’s focus on opening new markets

January 27, 2014 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today presented some of the findings from Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update 2013, a publication of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. 

“We know that when Canadian businesses succeed abroad, jobs and opportunities are created for hard-working Canadians here at home,” said Minister Fast. “Through our government’s hands-on engagement, our exports to China are at record levels and our world-class Canadian businesses are finding success in key markets across China.”

The State of Trade report highlights some findings on Canada’s increasingly important bilateral trade relationship with China, a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan. As in 2011, growth in Canada’s merchandise exports to China (up 15.1 percent) outpaced the growth of Canada’s merchandise imports from China (up 5.3 percent). Canada’s bilateral trade with China continued to increase in 2012, up 7.8 percent to reach $70.1 billion. From 2006 to 2012, Canada’s merchandise exports to China grew 16 percent per year on average.

“Our government is committed to continuing to help our businesses grow their exports to China,” said Minister Fast. “On my many trade missions to that country, I have always advanced Canada’s commercial interests in my meetings with China’s political and business leaders and I will continue to do so because our government knows that when Canadian businesses find success in global markets, jobs and opportunities are created here at home.”

Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Honduras, Jordan, Panama and Peru. In addition to the recent historic agreement with the European Union, Canada is pursuing trade agreements with more than 25 countries, including large markets such as India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Canada has also concluded, signed or brought into force foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) with 22 countries since 2006—10 in 2013 alone—and is negotiating with many more. Canada currently has 25 FIPAs in force around the world.  

Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update was released on December 27, 2013. It provides an annual overview of trends in international trade in goods and services. It includes numerous figures and tables detailing Canada’s performance in key markets, reports on trade and investment with NAFTA countries, updates of progress made under other free trade agreements and summaries of Canada’s current and financial accounts with the United States, the European Union, Japan and other trading partners.

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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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