Strengthening Canada’s Bilateral Relations with China
David Tilson, MP
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently visited China to strengthen and enhance Canada-China relations. The trip covered a number of important issues including tourism, foreign investment, energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, and agriculture. Several important milestones in the development of Canada’s strategic partnership with China were reached during the trip that will ultimately create jobs and economic growth for Canadians in every region of Canada.
Canada’s relationship with China has grown significantly. Globally, China is now Canada’s second-largest trading partner, which means many new opportunities for Canadian business to seize. The potential is immense, as China is expected to become the world’s largest economy by 2020. Investment flows between the two countries are at an all-time high, which is seen by the record high of almost $5 billion at the end of 2010. Canadian investment in China increased by 38 per cent over 2009 levels. Chinese investment during the same year totaled $14 billion, an increase of 9 per cent from 2009.
During his visit to China, Prime Minister Harper built on Canada’s successful investment flows between Canada and China by announcing the conclusion of negotiations toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), while also witnessing the signing of a Declaration of Intent by Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Ed Fast, and China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming. This Agreement will further facilitate the investment flows by providing a more stable and secure environment for investors in both countries.
Tourism was also addressed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China. While there, he launched the Canadian Tourism Commission’s (CTC) new 2012 tourism marketing campaign. The campaign will promote tourism in Canada by showcasing our country’s spectacular beauty and unique diversity to the international community. The CTC is intended to offer Canada as an all-season destination of choice, as the campaign focuses on a collection of travel experiences and will be used to showcase Canada’s many outstanding tourist attractions. Tourism is an important industry for Canada, contributing to nearly $15 billion to the economy in 2010 while also creating jobs and economic opportunities all across the country.
Prime Minister Harper and Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, also witnessed the signing of new joint initiatives and the renewal of existing bilateral initiatives between Canada and China during the visit. The joint initiatives covered the areas of energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, as well as agriculture. The agreements will strengthen Canada’s strategic partnership with China that will benefit Canadians and businesses by creating jobs and growth.
The global economic climate remains uncertain. Our Government will remain focused on completing the economic recovery and a major part of completing this recovery is strengthening bilateral relations with countries like China. Prime Minister Harper’s recent trip to this country and the many milestones reached during his time there will create the right environment for more Canadian jobs and economic growth from coast to coast.