Canada trade minister stresses opportunities
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