China deal could boost Canada GDP
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and China would increase Canadian exports by some $7.7 billion and Canadian GDP by about $7.8 billion (0.14 percent) by 2030, according to a report commissioned by Canada China Business Council.
This would help create an additional 25,000 Canadian jobs across all skill levels and raise wage rates as the demand for Canadian labour increases, said the report, which was released by Noah Frasr, director of CCBC Ontario Chapter, at the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement Forum on April 8 in Toronto City Hall.
If Canada were to become the first country in the Americas to secure a trade deal with China, it would not only benefit from direct trade opportunities, it would also be a magnet for investors from third countries wishing to take advantage of Canada’s privileged access, according to the study.
“It is the right time to start the process of FTA negotiations between China and Canada,” said Xue Bing, Chinese Consul General in Toronto, in his keynote speech.
According to Xue, China has been initiating FTA negotiations with its trading partners since 2003. So far, China has concluded 14 agreements with 22 countries and tariff territories and is now in the midst of another eight FTA talks.
Xue noted that as a result of low oil prices and plunging commodity prices, the global economy was recovering very slowly. Thus expanding foreign trade and investment
It is the right time to start the process of FTA negotiations between China and Canada.”
was an effective approach to boosting economic growth.
In terms of the FTA benefits, Xue cited Australia as an economy similar to Canada. As the China-Australia FTA went into effect last December, it is expected that the China- Australia FTA will bring Australia GDP up by at least 0.7 percent and save more than 300 million Australian dollars in import tariffs for Australian exporters of agricultural products.
“Canadian export would gradually be marginalized in the Chinese market,” Xue said.
To promote the bilateral economic ties, he suggests that Canada and China continue to support the multilateral trading system and oppose trade protectionism.
“And we should initiate the process of FTA negotiations as soon as possible,” he added.
China is now speeding up the establishment of a highstandard free trade network by carrying forward ChinaJapan-Korea FTA, China-Gulf Cooperation Council FTA, Asia Pacific Free Trade Area, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
In 2015, trade between China and Canada contributed less than 2 percent to the total Chinese foreign trade.
It is also said that the functions of the Renminbi trading centre in Toronto should be fully utilized so that the enterprises from both sides can save transaction costs, mitigate foreign exchange risk and better price the products.
“In addition, we should expedite the development of oil and gas pipelines and export terminals in the western part of Canada and build a maritime energy corridor linking the two countries at an early date,” Xue added.
The forum was co-hosted by Jiangsu International Business Association of Canada, Canada China Business Council (CCBC) Ontario Charpter, Canada China Chamber of Commerce and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Canada. Some 150 representatives from both Canadian and Chinese enterprises and business associations in Ontario, including entrepreneurs and economists, attended the forum.
Canada Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland conveyed greetings to this forum as well.