Greater Predictability Will Grow China’s Economy Through Increased Canadian Expertise and Investment

International Trade Minister Ed Fast says a FIPA with China would lead to greater two-way investment, strong economic growth and success for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses

(No. 294 - October 11, 2011 - 10:20 a.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today was in Shanghai, Kunshan and Suzhou, China, where he met with world-leading Canadian companies with manufacturing facilities there to discuss how a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) will benefit both Canada and China.

“Greater two-way investment is a win-win for both our countries,” said Minister Fast. “China benefits from increased innovation- and knowledge-based investment by leading Canadian aerospace and high value-added manufacturing companies, for example, and Canadians benefit from the increased jobs and prosperity that come when Canadian businesses succeed abroad.”

As Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, China offers great opportunities for Canadian businesses. These include its growing middle class and consumer base, steady economic growth, infrastructure needs and demands for energy and natural resources.

Greater investment predictability will also contribute to China’s continued economic growth through increased Canadian investment and expertise in sectors such as aerospace, high value-added manufacturing, and science and technology. 

To showcase the mutual benefits of a FIPA, Minister Fast toured the manufacturing plant of the Canadian company Magna Closures in Kunshan. In 2009, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest market for new vehicle sales. Magna International is the most diversified automotive supplier in the world and has been in China since 1996. It now has more than 20 facilities in China and employs close to 7,000 people there.

Minister Fast also visited the Celestica plant in Suzhou, which provides original equipment manufacturing capabilities to a wide range of multinational companies for the wireless, optical and enterprise communications sectors.

“Through global supply chains, the success of world-class Canadian companies doing business in China is also helping small and medium-sized enterprises succeed in this high-growth market,” said Minister Fast. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of job creation in Canada, so their expansion abroad will lead to greater prosperity back home.”

The Minister also met with Bombardier representatives to promote deeper Canada-China cooperation in China’s growing aerospace sector.

“As China seeks to increase its participation in the global commercial aerospace market, Canada’s Bombardier—with its end-to-end expertise—will be uniquely positioned to help facilitate China’s ambitious aerospace goals,” said Minister Fast. “Greater investment predictability would help foster increased Canadian investment and closer aerospace cooperation.”

Canada and China are currently negotiating a FIPA designed to give investors in both countries the predictability and protection needed to ensure increased two-way investment.

“A FIPA would lead to stronger economic growth in both our countries,” said Minister Fast. “Negotiations are moving forward, and our countries are working together to reach an agreement that is acceptable and mutually beneficial to both sides.”

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

- 30 -

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 Either Accompanying or Visited by Minister Fast Today

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.

Celestica

Celestica is a US$6.5-billion Canadian company with its head office in Toronto, Ontario. Its main business is to deliver end-to-end product life-cycle solutions, including design and development, manufacturing, technical support and maintenance. It employs over 35,000 people in 14 countries to serve its customers in communications; consumer, industrial and enterprise computing; health care; green technologies; and aerospace and defence. Its stock is publicly traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Celestica entered the Chinese market in 2000. It has about 6,000 employees in China (Dongguan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Song Shan Lake, Suzhou and Wuxi), with a majority of them engaged in manufacturing.

Magna

Headquartered in Aurora, Ontario, Magna is the most diversified automotive supplier in the world. Magna started in China in 1996 with a seating systems joint-venture partnership with Shanghai Lomason Automotive Seating. The China head office was established in Shanghai in 2004. Today, Magna has over 18 manufacturing facilities and eight engineering/product development/sales facilities throughout China. Overall, the company employs more than 7,000 people in China. Magna develops and manufactures automotive systems, modules and components for most of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in China, including global OEM joint ventures as well as local Chinese automakers. Additionally, Magna also brings its vehicle engineering expertise to customers in this region.