Tourism up 30 per­cent

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

that will bet­ter meet Canada’s eco­nomic needs”.

“The gov­ern­ment will re­place th­ese pro­grams with more fo­cused and ef­fec­tive pi­lot pro­grams that will en­sure that im­mi­grants make a real and sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in the Cana­dian econ­omy.”

He said de­tails of the pi­lot pro­grams should be an­nounced in early 2015.

“We ex­pect that China will re­main one of the main sources of im­mi­grants to Canada,” St. Jac­ques said.

St. Jac­ques sees more op­por­tu­ni­ties for cul­tural ex­changes be­tween the two na­tions.

“From ed­u­ca­tion to tourism to cul­tural ex­changes, Canada is ac­tively en­gaged in pro­mot­ing peo­pleto-peo­ple ties,” he said, not­ing that Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper and Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang an­nounced in Novem­ber that 2015-16 will be the “Year of Peo­ple-to-Peo­ple and Cul­tural Ex­changes be­tween Canada and China.

“Chi­nese tourism to Canada has in­creased by 30 per­cent so far this year,” St. Jac­ques said. He said the growth was also linked to Cana­dian pol­icy to is­sue mostly mul­ti­ple-en­try visas to Chi­nese cit­i­zens vis­it­ing Canada, which are valid for up to 10 years.

“Sim­i­larly, more flex­i­ble im­mi­gra­tion rules re­lated to stu­dent per­mits when com­bined with the qual­ity of af­ford­abil­ity of Cana­dian ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, should guar­an­tee a steady growth in the num­ber of Chi­nese stu­dents go­ing to Canada,” he said.

When asked about China’s prospects for host­ing the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, St. Jac­ques said: “We don’t com­ment on the bid­ding process for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional games or bids by in­di­vid­ual coun­tries for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional games. But I will tell you that Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told Prime Min­is­ter Harper, dur­ing his re­cent visit to China, that host­ing th­ese Games in Beijing would greatly ex­pand the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants in win­ter sports. PM Harper replied that he looks for­ward to fu­ture ice hockey games be­tween our two coun­tries!”

When asked about the cur­rent state of re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions, St. Jac­ques was op­ti­mistic.

“While at times there have been chal­leng­ing is­sues in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship, and we dis­cuss frankly the mat­ters on which we dis­agree, our two coun­tries nev­er­the­less find common as­pi­ra­tions in pro­vid­ing jobs and pros­per­ity to our cit­i­zens,” he said.

“We hope the Cana­dian edi­tion of China Daily will con­trib­ute to foster a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing be­tween our two coun­tries by ex­plain­ing to Cana­di­ans the rapid and in­ter­est­ing changes that are tak­ing place in China’s econ­omy and so­ci­ety.”

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