Minister Fast Highlights Canada’s World-Class Aerospace Capabilities During Visit to China

Success of Canadian companies abroad will be a key driver of prosperity at home, says Minister

(No. 289 - October 8, 2011 - 10:00 a.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, accompanied by Canadian firms from the aerospace sector, today met with senior executives from China Southern Airlines in Guangzhou, China, to promote Canada’s world-leading capabilities in this sector during a seven-day visit to the country.

“Canada’s aerospace sector is world class, and its success abroad will be a key driver of Canada’s prosperity, based on innovation, knowledge, advanced technology and high-value-added manufacturing,” said Minister Fast. “China is experiencing huge growth in airline passenger volumes, in its airport facilities and in aircraft purchases. Canadian companies are well positioned to facilitate and accelerate the development of China’s aviation industry.”

Canada’s aerospace industry is the fifth-largest in the world, employing approximately 83,000 highly skilled people in more than 400 firms, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, and as far north as Canada’s Arctic regions.

Major Canadian aviation firms such as Bombardier, CAE and Pratt & Whitney Canada have invested significantly in the Chinese market. They have established joint ventures, supplied major aviation systems, and increasingly are engaged in research and development projects with Chinese partners. For example, in March 2011, Bombardier Inc. and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) signed a framework agreement to establish long-term strategic cooperation on commercial aircraft, which builds on an earlier agreement signed in 2008.

“These ventures are helping to shape the Canada-China relationship in this high-technology industry, and also create growth and prosperity for smaller Chinese and Canadian suppliers,” said Minister Fast. “As a government, we want Canadian businesses to be successful. We are committed to facilitating opportunities in new and emerging markets, particularly in high-growth areas such as China. Businesses that succeed abroad create jobs and prosperity for Canadians at home.”

Minister Fast was accompanied by representatives from Bombardier Aerospace and Cascade Aerospace. The Government of Canada supports Canadian companies in China with 11 service points comprising five diplomatic missions and six trade offices.

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.

For more information on the Minister’s visit, please consult Trade Visit to China.

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A backgrounder follows.

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
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - Canadian Companies Participating in Meeting with China Southern Airlines Representatives

Bombardier Aerospace

A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2011, were $17.7 billion, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes.

Cascade Aerospace

Cascade Aerospace Inc. is a privately held Canadian specialty aerospace and defence contractor focused on providing long-term integrated aircraft support programs for military, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), government and commercial customers. Among its customers are Canada’s Department of National Defence, WestJet, CAE Inc. and Lockheed Martin. Currently employing approximately 650 people and growing, the company is headquartered at a state-of-the-art facility at the Abbotsford International Airport in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The company also has operations in Trenton and Ottawa, Ontario.