Investors from China still up on Canada
Although miners worldwide are said to have been in survival mode and a subdued mood over the past year, and the currently gloomy mining industry continues to face a gamut of challenges, Chinese investors are still confident on Canada, according to Xia Xiang, minister-counselor for economic and commercial affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Canada.
Xia made the comments at the China Mining Investment Symposium 2016 hosted by the Canada China Chamber of Commerce on Monday in Toronto. The forum was held during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto.
“Even last year as we faced a stagnant world economy and sluggish world market, bilateral trade between China and Canada still achieved a 10 percent increase to C$85.8 billion, which is so encouraging and convincing,” Xia noted.
For two decades, China and Canada have enjoyed steady and fruitful bilateral business relations, especially since China’s accession to the WTO. In 11 of the last 15 years, both sides have registered double digit increases.
Since Canada’s new government took office, it has sent out strong signals that it wishes to expand business relations with Asia, and China seems to be a priority.
“Not long ago, leaders from both sides reached a consensus on building a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between two sides,” said Xia. “It is very clearly understood that an FTA will trigger an upsurge and upgrade in bilateral trade. It will certainly secure high employment and benefit the people of both countries.”
Xia mentioned that the Canada China Business Council released a report titled Chasing China: Why an Economic Agreement with China is Necessary for Canada’s Continued Prosperity last month that details the promising picture of an FTA.
Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, who recently coauthored a study on a Canada-China FTA, speaking to a Canadian media that her research shows Canada stands to benefit greatly if the two countries were to reach a deal.
“It will be billions and billions of dollars every year,” she said.
However, Canada is not currently engaged in free-trade negotiations with China, according to Global Affairs Canada.
Their confidence comes from their perspective on Canada’s economic recovery and on the Chinese economic transformation for the long run ...”
In January, China sent its ViceMinister of Financial and Economic Affairs Han Jun to Ottawa for discussions with senior officials about the prospects of negotiating its first FTA with any North American country.
Speaking to The Globe and Mail, Han noted China’s economy is still forecast to grow at 6.5 percent, much faster than the US’.
“So you don’t need to worry that China’s economy will slide over the cliff ,” he said.
It is said that China will import $10 trillion from outside and invest $500 billion to the outside world in the next five years.
Canada is one of the main destinations for Chinese investors and China is now the sixth-largest investor in Canada, to the tune of US$25 billion, according to official Canadian statistics.