Minister Fast Returns from Asia Visit on Sichuan Airlines

Photo (left to right): Craig Richmond, President and CEO of Vancouver International Airport; Minister Fast; Sichuan Airlines flight attendant; Michael Gao, General Manager of Sichuan Airlines.

October 11, 2013 - Vancouver - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, wraps up a week-long visit to Asia by returning home on Sichuan Airlines’ direct flight from the largest city in Northeast China, Shenyang, to Vancouver. Minister Fast inaugurated Sichuan Airlines’ inaugural passenger flight just over a year ago.

Sichuan Airlines is headquartered in Chengdu, one of the most important commercial centres in Western China, home to 14 million people who are now well served by Canada’s second-busiest airport, Vancouver International Airport.

This new service is yet another example of Canada’s commitment to strengthen its important trade and investment relationship with China. On July 4, 2013, Canada announced an expansion of the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement, which will benefit travellers and businesses in various sectors of the Canadian economy.

The expanded agreement will facilitate the movement of goods, services and people, and help Canadian businesses and airlines to grow and compete by providing them with greater choices in airline services and destinations, as well as lower prices.

The Canada-China air-travel market is large and continues to grow. The market has increased by approximately 86 percent since 2005.

China is Canada's second-largest export destination after the United States. Bilateral trade with China reached record levels in 2012, with the value of merchandise exports alone growing 15 percent to $19.3 billion.

In addition to the commercial links, more than 1.4 million Chinese-Canadians enrich every aspect of our country, including the arts, literature, science, business, politics and philanthropy. China is also Canada’s largest source of international students with almost 57,000 Chinese students currently studying at Canadian institutions.

For more information, see Minister Fast Visits Asia.

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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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