Canada trade min­is­ter stresses op­por­tu­ni­ties

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NA LI in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­

There are op­por­tu­ni­ties there, but op­por­tu­ni­ties can be lost.

That’s how Cana­dian Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Trade Chrys­tia Free­land summed up Canada’s re­la­tion­ship with China.

Free­land made the re­marks at a lun­cheon or­ga­nized by the Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day in Toronto.

“The most im­por­tant eco­nomic devel­op­ment in the 21 cen­tury is the ris­ing of Asia, es­pe­cially the ris­ing of China,” said Free­land, who men­tioned that her three chil­dren were study­ing Chi­nese. “We should think about the chal­lenge and op­por­tu­nity that the rise of China presents to Canada and the West.”

Aside from strong hu­man con­nec­tions be­tween Canada and China, Canada has a mean­ing­ful eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship with China, she said.

China is cur­rently Canada’s sec­ond­largest trad­ing part­ner. It pro­vides the largest group of for­eign stu­dents in Canada. About 120,000 Chi­nese stu­dents were in Canada last year.

Chi­nese are also the third-largest tourist group com­ing to Canada. And the RMB trad­ing hub re­cently launched in Toronto has boosted Canada’s ex­ports to China.

“We ap­pre­ci­ated these very much,” she said.

“I think the big chal­lenge of the 21st cen­tury is to cre­ate a pos­i­tive world or­der in which China wishes to play, and Canada can play a cen­tral role in the project through our re­la­tion­ship with China,” she said.

Free­land af­firmed that Canada’s ap­proach to China is con­se­quen­tial, care­ful and thought­ful, and aimed at build­ing a long-term re­la­tion­ship.

“Let’s take the time to have a very clear un­der­stand­ing of what our mu­tual in­ter­ests are,” she said.

Free­land also men­tioned that Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is ex­pected to at­tend the G20 sum­mit hosted by China in Hangzhou this Septem­ber.

Chrys­tia Free­land, Cana­dian min­is­ter of in­ter­na­tional trade

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