Chi­nese am­bas­sador bids farewell af­ter three years

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI NA in Toronto lina@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Around 100 mem­bers of the Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil (CCBC) and Gowl­ings LLP bid farewell to Jun­sai Zhang, China’s am­bas­sador to Canada, on April 25 in Toronto.

Hav­ing served for more than three years, Zhang con­cluded his ten­ure at the end of April.

Am­bas­sador Zhang was rec­og­nized for his con­tri­bu­tions to the growth in busi­ness, in­vest­ment and trade be­tween the two coun­tries, which in­cluded help­ing China be­come Canada’s sec­ond-largest trad­ing part­ner and ex­port mar­ket — with bi­lat­eral trade now ex­ceed­ing $54 bil­lion — and two-way in­vest­ment grow­ing by 200 per­cent from 2010 to 2013.

The China-Canada Eco­nomic Com­ple­men­tar­i­ties Study shows that the two coun­tries have dif­fer­ent strengths in the global in­dus­trial chain, and the two economies are highly com­ple­men­tary, Zhang said in his re­marks.

“So we can set new goals for trade co­op­er­a­tion,” he said.

Three years ago, the most no­tice­able co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Canada was re­lated to en­ergy and re­sources, such as oil, gas, min­er­als, and lum­ber, he said.

Now the coun­tries are talk­ing about set­ting up a joint hi-tech in­cu­ba­tor, con­duct­ing joint re­search and de­vel­op­ment on large-air­plane tech­nol­ogy, car­ry­ing out civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion and the com­pe­ti­tion be­tween Toronto and Van­cou­ver to be­come an RMB trad­ing cen­ter, he added.

“China not only needs Canada’s en­ergy and re­source prod­ucts, but also its spe­cial­ties such as cher­ries, beef, seafood and wine,” Zhang told the group.

It is ex­pected that China will im­port $10 tril­lion worth of goods in the next five years.

“China also wel­comes in­vest­ment from Canada,” Zhang con­tin­ued. “As China im­proves

Chi‘

na not only needs Canada’s en­ergy and re­source prod­ucts, but also its spe­cial­ties such as cher­ries, beef, seafood and wine.” JUN­SAI ZHANG CHINA’S AM­BAS­SADOR TO CANADA

its mar­ket sys­tem, Cana­dian en­ter­prises will en­joy a bet­ter busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.”

At the end of last year, there were about 13,000 Cana­dian businesses reg­is­tered in China.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhang, China’s lat­est round of open­ing up gives pri­or­ity to ser­vice sec­tors such as fi­nance, cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, health, ar­chi­tec­ture de­sign, child- and old-age care, commercial lo­gis­tics and more.

Zhang em­pha­sized that purs­ing mu­tual ben­e­fits was es­sen­tial to de­vel­op­ing a bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship. He en­cour­aged stu­dent ex­changes, which bring co­op­er­a­tion and un­der­stand­ing in the next gen­er­a­tion.

Re­gard­ing a rift in the Cana­dian cab­i­net that stalled the trade re­la­tion­ship with China re­cently, Zhang said that in his ex­pe­ri­ence, most of the provin­cial gov­ern­ments in Canada are look­ing for­ward to build­ing closer ties with China, and China will con­tinue to ex­pand mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion with Canada at all lev­els.

“A true re­la­tion­ship means that we trust each other and un­der­stand each other. We will put all the sen­si­tive is­sues in their proper place with our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. I am quite con­fi­dent that our re­la­tion­ship will go on sta­bly and smoothly,” he said.

So far, how­ever, there’s no in­di­ca­tion that the CanadaChina For­eign In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion and Pro­tec­tion Agree­ment (FIPA) signed in 2012, has not yet been rat­i­fied by the cab­i­net and has yet to be­come law. “I hope the Cana­dian govern­ment rat­i­fies FIPA as soon as pos­si­ble,” Zhang said.

He men­tioned that Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper will pay his third of­fi­cial visit to China later this year. “And the people-to-people con­nec­tions that al­ready ex­ist be­tween Canada and China will fur­ther en­hance bi­lat­eral trade in ser­vices,” Zhang con­cluded.

“Am­bas­sador Zhang has con­trib­uted greatly to the in­creased busi­ness, trade and in­vest­ment be­tween our two coun­tries,” said Sarah Ku­tu­lakos, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of CCBC.

Scott Jol­liffe, chair­man and CEO of Growl­ings, praised the am­bas­sador for his ser­vice. “He has strength­ened our busi­ness and cul­tural ties and as­sisted in forg­ing a pros­per­ous fu­ture to­gether for both coun­tries,” Jol­liffe said.

“We greatly ben­e­fit­ted from his ef­forts to fos­ter trade be­tween Canada and China,” said Pierre Sein Pyun, Bom­bardier’s vice-pres­i­dent for govern­ment af­fairs. He thanked Am­bas­sador Zhang for help­ing with the com­pany’s great suc­cess in China.

Gover­nor Gen­eral David John­ston also thanked Zhang for pro­mot­ing Canada-China re­la­tions dur­ing his ten­ure, es­pe­cially in strength­en­ing ed­u­ca­tion and youth ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides.

LI NA / CHINA DAILY

Am­bas­sador Jun­sai Zhang speaks at the farewell lun­cheon hosted by Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil on April 25 in Toronto.

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