Closer Canada-China Economic Ties a Harper Government Priority

Minister Fast discusses ways to boost Canada’s trade with world’s second-largest economy

(No. 235 - August 17, 2011 - 11:40 a.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today participated in a round table with members of the Canada China Business Council (CCBC) in Toronto. At the session, Minister Fast underscored the Harper government’s commitment to boosting trade and investment with China to benefit Canadians.

“Our government’s focus is to create jobs and increase prosperity for hardworking Canadians. One in five Canadian jobs is linked to trade,” said Minister Fast. “China is now the world’s second-largest economy after the United States. Therefore, it is important that we further strengthen our commercial trading relationship with this powerhouse market in order to create opportunities for Canadian workers, businesses and their families.”

Canada and China are currently negotiating a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)—a pact that will set the stage for a significant increase in two-way investment.

“Canadian companies doing business in China will benefit from rules that create a predictable investment environment and effective dispute settlement measures,” stated Minister Fast. “We look forward to concluding this FIPA with China in the near future.”

“Today’s round-table discussion between Minister Fast and CCBC members underscores the importance that both the Harper government and the Sino-Canadian business community place on strengthening trade relations between Canada and China,” said Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director and CEO of the CCBC. “As the voice of the Canadian business community on issues affecting Sino-Canadian trade and investment, the council is pleased with the Minister’s efforts to ensure a long and prosperous relationship that will benefit all Canadians.”

China is Canada’s second-largest merchandise trading partner. Bilateral merchandise trade reached $57.7 billion in 2010, while overall trade between the two countries more than tripled between 2001 and 2010. The Government of Canada is active in China in support of Canadian companies, with 11 service points comprising five diplomatic missions and six trade offices.

“The standard of living and future prosperity of Canadian families depend on us deepening and broadening Canada’s trade relationships,” concluded Minister Fast. “China is a key aspect of our job-creating pro-trade plan, and I look forward to intensified engagement with China this fall.” 

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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 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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