Con­sul calls for free trade agree­ment and deeper ties

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MAYA LIU and ZHAOYING HU in Van­cou­ver

China’s Con­sul Gen­eral in Van­cou­ver Liu Fei met with the me­dia on Mon­day at the Chi­nese con­sulate to dis­cuss the cur­rent state of China-Canada bi­lat­eral trade, say­ing she ex­pected the two na­tions’ strong ties to grow even stronger.

Liu high­lighted the im­por­tance of busi­ness, trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Canada, whose bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume has been on the rise steadily in re­cent years. She also saw the po­ten­tial for fur­ther ex­pan­sion well into the fu­ture.

“The China-Canada bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship is play­ing a vi­tal role in Canada’s econ­omy,” Liu said. “Tak­ing Bri­tish Columbia as an ex­am­ple, about 20 per­cent of the prov­ince’s trade ac­tiv­i­ties were con­ducted with China and about 20 per­cent of the goods and ser­vices pro­duced here were ex­ported to China. I think the im­por­tance of our trade co­op­er­a­tion is quite self-ev­i­dent.”

In 2014, bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume be­tween China and Canada reached $55.2 bil­lion — up 1.5 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese statis­tics. BC’s trade vol­ume with China has also gone up by 1 per­cent to a to­tal of 17 bil­lion Canadian dol­lars. China main­tained its po­si­tion as Canada’s — and BC’s — sec­ond-largest trad­ing part­ner, source of im­ports and ex­port mar­ket.

Liu also pointed out that as China now struc­tures its trade poli­cies with a clearer di­rec­tion, the One Belt, One Road Ini­tia­tive — es­pe­cially the Mar­itime Silk Road — will of­fer nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties to Canada and Canadian busi­nesses.

“Bri­tish Columbia is known as Canada’s Asia-Pa­cific Gate­way, mak­ing the prov­ince one of the big­gest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this greater con­nec­tiv­ity,” Liu said.

“Canada has the need to ex­port those prod­ucts its do­mes­tic mar­ket can’t con­sume to other coun­tries and mar­kets, and I be­lieve China is an ideal fit for Canada to ex­port to,” she said.

“An­other ad­van­tage that BC has is the fact that a large num­ber of out­stand­ing uni­ver­si­ties and sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tu­tions are lo­cated here, so Chi­nese en­ter­prises and in­vestors can co­op­er­ate with them in mar­ke­ti­za­tion of high-tech prod­ucts,” Liu told China daily.

“Sev­eral Chi­nese com­pa­nies have made their way to BC to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of set­ting up in­cu­ba­tors here,” she said.

Chi­nese and Canadian en­ter­prises have a fairly long track record of in­vest­ing and

WEIYUAN LI

Liu Fei (right), con­sul gen­eral of China in Van­cou­ver, sits with lo­cal me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives at a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day at the Chi­nese con­sulate in Van­cou­ver.

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