En­voy: China trade a pri­or­ity

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG RU in Beijing wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Canada’s am­bas­sador to China be­lieves that China’s ef­forts on ad­dress­ing cli­mate change will greatly ben­e­fit both coun­tries.

“China’s re­cent an­nounce­ments on tak­ing ac­tion to ad­dress cli­mate change and in­creas­ing its non-fos­sil fuel share of all en­ergy will cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties in ef­forts to con­trol air pol­lu­tion and to support clean en­ergy and nu­clear tech­nol­ogy,” Am­bas­sador Guy St. Jac­ques told China Daily in a lengthy in­ter­view.

“We are look­ing at boost­ing trade, in­vest­ment and growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for Cana­dian busi­nesses in th­ese ar­eas, and are sup­ported by Cana­dian in­dus­tries who have also ex­pressed a strong in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing their co­op­er­a­tion and business with Chi­nese firms.”

Other ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion in­volv­ing the cli­mate in­clude en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, car­bon cap­ture, uti­liza­tion and stor­age, green con­struc­tion tech­nol­ogy and waste man­age­ment, St. Jac­ques said.

St. Jac­ques re­cently sat down for an in­ter­view with China Daily on a wide range of top­ics in­clud­ing the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing in Novem­ber, im­mi­gra­tion, trade, tourism, the 2022 Win­ter Olympics and the over­all state of Sino-Cana­dian re­la­tions.

On the APEC meet­ing, St. Jac­ques said that “China is an eco­nomic and global business pow­er­house and did a first-rate job host­ing the 2014 APEC Sum­mit and process.”

The am­bas­sador said that dur­ing Harper’s of­fi­cial visit to China just be­fore APEC, he had suc­cess­ful meet­ings with China’s lead­ers that “strength­ened the foun­da­tion for fu­ture com­mer­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion and which will bol­ster Cana­dian com­pa­nies’ ac­cess to the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that this cru­cial mar­ket has to of­fer”.

He said it would gen­er­ate jobs and eco­nomic growth in both our coun­tries.

“The an­nounce­ment of the cre­ation of an RMB trad­ing cen­ter in Canada is very sig­nif­i­cant as it will fa­cil­i­tate trade in both di­rec­tions,” St. Jac­ques said.

As to whether Canada would start free-trade talks with China, St. Jac­ques said deep­en­ing Canada’s com­mer­cial re­la­tions with China is a pri­or­ity for Canada. As China con­tin­ues to grow and re­form its econ­omy to bring greater ben­e­fit to its peo­ple, Canada can be an im­por­tant part­ner.

“I would re­it­er­ate that Canada is open to Chi­nese in­vest­ments that ben­e­fit Cana­di­ans, drive eco­nomic growth, and cre­ate jobs. The Canada-China For­eign In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion and Pro­tec­tion Agree­ment, which came into force on Oct 1, pro­vides a more sta­ble and pre­dictable business en­vi­ron­ment for in­vestors in both coun­tries.

He said that dur­ing Harper’s of­fi­cial visit to China, lead­ers agreed to deepen trade and com­mer­cial ties in agri­cul­ture, en­ergy (in­clud­ing in the nu­clear sec­tor), civil avi­a­tion, health and fi­nan­cial ser­vices. China is Canada’s sec­ond-largest trade part­ner.

The am­bas­sador also said that the Cana­dian Em­bassy’s trade of­fices “have proven ef­fec­tive in help­ing Cana­dian busi­nesses — es­pe­cially small and medium-sized en­ter­prises find the op­por­tu­ni­ties and con­tacts nec­es­sary to suc­cess­fully ex­port to China”.

St. Jac­ques said that the six trade of­fices that were opened in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Cana­dian Com­mer­cial Cor­po­ra­tion (CCC) in China in late 2009 — in Qing­dao, Shenyang, Wuhan, Nan­jing, Chengdu, and Shen­zhen — have helped gen­er­ate almost 500 business leads and fa­cil­i­tated 50 com­mer­cial trans­ac­tions for Cana­dian clients, which are es­ti­mated to be worth more than $75 mil­lion.

Dur­ing Harper’s visit, he an­nounced that Canada will open new trade of­fices in the Chi­nese ci­ties of Hangzhou, Xi’an, Xi­a­men and Tian­jin. He said the four new of­fices, which will all be opened by Fe­bru­ary 2015, will ex­pand Canada’s trade net­work in China, for a to­tal of 15 lo­ca­tions across the coun­try.

The am­bas­sador sees a place for Canada in China’s in­creas­ing ur­ban­iza­tion.

“We are look­ing at ex­pand­ing business op­por­tu­ni­ties for Cana­dian com­pa­nies in civil avi­a­tion, health and life sciences, agri­cul­ture and bio-prod­ucts, en­ergy, en­vi­ron­ment and in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies (ICT),” he said.

“Canada’s clean tech­nol­ogy in­dus­tries, oil and gas and nu­clear busi­nesses also have a strong in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing their co­op­er­a­tion with Chi­nese firms.”

On im­mi­gra­tion, St. Jac­ques said that Canada’s Eco­nomic Ac­tion Plan 2014 an­nounced the gov­ern­ment’s in­ten­tion to ter­mi­nate the fed­eral Im­mi­grant In­vestor Pro­gram and Fed­eral En­tre­pre­neur Pro­gram in or­der to elim­i­nate a large and long­stand­ing back­log of ap­pli­ca­tions, and “pave the way for new pi­lot pro­grams

Guy Saint-Jac­ques, Canada’s am­bas­sador to China

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