Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study

On August 15, 2012, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and China’s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, announced the release of the Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study (see News Release: Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study Released). The two ministers also issued a joint press release to accompany the study.

The Economic Complementarities Study highlights the strong momentum and expansion in Canada-China trade and economic relations.  It identifies a number of important complementarities and prospects for growth, at the same time as pointing to the need to address certain challenges to best take advantage of these complementarities. The Study concludes that the Canadian and Chinese governments should continue to deepen and strengthen our bilateral trade and investment ties through appropriate bilateral instruments to ensure that Chinese and Canadian citizens can continue to build a prosperous and sustainable future.


After years of strong growth, China is now Canada’s second largest single-nation trading partner, and our most important market in Asia, with two-way merchandise trade reaching almost $65 billion in 2011. Canadian exports to China rose by 27% over 2010 while Canadian imports from China grew by 8%. Moreover, China now ranks as Canada’s third-largest merchandise export market, after the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the past five years, Canadian merchandise exports to China have increased by 77%, a rate more than 50% greater than to each of our other top four trading partners.

China offers many untapped opportunities for Canadian businesses. With a population of 1.3 billion and a rapidly expanding middle class, China is one the largest and fastest growing markets in the world and is expected to become the world’s largest economy over the next decades.

China is identified as a priority market under the Government of Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy, and advancing our bilateral trade and investment interests with China is key to the future prosperity of Canadians. The value and breadth of Canada’s trade and economic relationship with China already exceeds those with most other priority markets, including the other fast-growing BRIC economies combined (Brazil, Russia and India).

In 2010, Prime Minister Harper and Chinese President Hu Jintao instructed officials to establish an Economic Partnership Working Group to explore means to deepen the bilateral trade and economic relationship. To this end, the Working Group undertook a study of key sectors where our two economies are complementary and where there is the greatest potential for further growth.

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Contact Point

If you have questions or comments, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada at:

Trade Policy and Negotiations Division II (TPW)
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-944-0757