Prime Minister Stephen Harper to visit CHINA
October 31, 2014 Ottawa, Ontario Prime Minister’s Office
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to the People’s Republic of China from November 5 to 10 for an official visit. The visit will provide an opportunity to strengthen the longstanding ties between both countries and set the direction for the future of the Canada-China relationship. During the visit, the Prime Minister will focus on three main priorities: increasing trade and prosperity, strengthening people-to-people ties and deepening bilateral relations to best represent Canadian values and interests.
In Hangzhou (November 7 to 8), Prime Minister Harper will meet with Chinese government officials and a Canadian business delegation comprised of representatives from a broad range of sectors including clean-tech, agri-food and seafood, aerospace, energy, education, construction, forestry and wood products, and information and communication technologies, to discuss the tremendous opportunities China presents Canadian companies to grow their businesses. He will highlight how Chinese market-oriented reforms are creating growing opportunities for Canadian and other foreign businesses, and will promote actions taken by the Canadian government to support trade and commerce, which spurs job growth in the domestic market.
In Beijing (November 8 to 10), Prime Minister Harper will meet with the President and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China. The leaders will discuss areas of mutual interest, including science and technology and clean energy. The Prime Minister will also engage with business leaders taking part in the Canada-China Business Forum where he will promote Canada as a resource-rich, technologically sophisticated and globally-engaged country which is open to investment.
During his visit to China, his third since taking office, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, James Moore, Minister of Industry, Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, and Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors.
On November 10, the Prime Minister will also participate in some elements of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing before returning to Canada for Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa on November 11.
Canada and China have had diplomatic relations since 1970. This long-standing and comprehensive relationship operates at many levels and includes political, commercial, scientific, cultural and academic ties. Both countries also enjoy an active working relationship in international fora, including the G-20, the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the World Trade Organization.
In 2013, bilateral merchandise trade between the countries reached $73.2 billion, 7.7 per cent of Canada’s total merchandise exports. During this period, Canada’s merchandise exports to China were valued at nearly $20.5 billion.
Nearly 1.5 million Canadian residents are of Chinese descent, representing approximately 4.5 per cent of Canada’s total population. In 2013, China was Canada’s largest source of foreign students, with some 95,159 Chinese studying in Canada, accounting for approximately 30 per cent of Canada’s international student population.
In October 2014, the Canada and China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement came into force which ensures that Canadian companies doing business in China benefit from the same transparency and fair treatment that companies doing business in Canada benefit from.
Prime Minister Harper made official visits to China in December 2009 and in February 2012. Since 2006, there have been some 70 visits by Federal Canadian Ministers to China.
APEC brings together some of the largest and most dynamic economies in the world to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity among economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Its 21 member-economies account for more than 2.8 billion people and nearly 60% of the world’s GDP.
“As the world’s second-largest economy and Canada’s second-largest single-country trading partner, China represents tremendous opportunities for Canada. I look forward to meeting with government and business leaders to further strengthen bilateral relations and lay an even broader framework of agreements that will enable Canadian businesses to truly take advantage of China’s large, diverse and dynamic economy.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper