Closer Canada-China Economic Ties Will Create Jobs and Opportunity for Canadians

Minister Fast discusses job-creating trade with Chinese business leaders and employers in Vancouver

(No. 202 - July 13, 2011 – 2:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, along with Randy Kamp, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Parliamentary Secretary for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, today participated in a round table on business prospects between Canada and China with Asia-Pacific stakeholders and Chinese business community leaders from the Vancouver area.

“With one in five Canadian jobs linked to trade, our government’s focus is to create jobs and increase prosperity for hardworking Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “China is now the world’s second-largest economy after the United States. Therefore, it is important that we further develop our trading relationship with China to create opportunities for Canadians.”

China is Canada’s second-largest merchandise trading partner, on a country-to-country basis. Bilateral merchandise trade reached $57.7 billion in 2010 and trade between the two countries more than tripled between 2001 and 2010. The Government of Canada actively supports Canadian companies operating in China through 11 service points—five diplomatic missions and six trade offices.

“Minister Fast had a very constructive exchange with business leaders on growing trade ties with China and other Asian countries,” said Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “He is committed to a deeper and broader relationship with the region, and is clearly interested in feedback and suggestions from stakeholders.”

The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, launched in 2006, is a network of transportation infrastructure that includes British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and Prince Rupert ports, their principal road and rail connections stretching across western Canada and south to the United States, key border crossings and major Canadian airports.

“Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor offer world-class marine, rail, road and air infrastructure closer to Asia than anywhere else in North America,” said Parliamentary Secretary Kamp. “It provides Canada with a competitive advantage in international commerce and contributes to increase its market share.”

To date, the Government of Canada has announced 47 infrastructure projects related to the initiative valued at over $3.5 billion, with federal investments of more than $1.4 billion, in partnership with all four Western Provinces, municipalities and the private sector.

“When Canadian businesses succeed abroad, jobs and prosperity are created here at home,” concluded Minister Fast. “At today’s round table, hearing what our Canadian companies have to say about making their businesses more competitive will help ensure we continue to take measures that make Canada even more competitive and prosperous—now and into the future.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adam Taylor
Director of Communications and Tour
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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