Canadian finance minister makes pitch for investment
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau called on entrepreneurs and other representatives of the Vancouver Chinese community to invest in Canada.
“We have a significant deficit in infrastructure, but we have the best balance sheet among all G7 countries,” Morneau told the audience last Wednesday at the Sheraton Hotel in Richmond, British Columbia. “I can tell you the global consensus we’re hearing is almost exactly what we’re hearing at home: Investments in the economy are needed now more than ever.
“Canada now has the lowest interest rate in history,” said Morneau. “We are looking for global partnerships to overcome issues, such as slower economic growth and climate change, together.”
The evening opened with a private meeting, in which the minister answered questions from five major local Chinese entrepreneurs on the new government in Ottawa’s policies toward China, including bilateral trade, currency settlement and the possibility of Canada joining the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.
At the reception that followed, he outlined new initiatives in the federal government budget to support the middle class, stressing that the Chinese community in Canada has a vital role in the conversation about Canadian policy and its future direction.
“I want to thank each and every person in this room for your support in taking our message of hope and hard work and turning it into a government that can be something all Canadians are proud of,” he said.
“Canada is facing a tough (period of) economic growth … and a volatile and challenging global environment. We know that together we can make an enormous difference in this country,” Morneau said.
He also discussed the government’s stepped-up efforts at family reunification immigration programs and mentioned that he looked forward to visiting China in September for the 2016 G20 summit along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hasten the process of bilateral collaboration on clean energy, trade and finance.
“We now have a new government with the most diverse cabinet, which can develop a fair and creative political platform that will tell the world Canada is open and can build much stronger economic relations with China,” said Hong Guo, the founder and director of the Guo Law Corp and co-chair of the event.
“We are so excited to have this new federal government who strongly believes in investing in the future, helping the middle class and those working hard to help reduce economic disparity among Canadians, and who believe in investing in expanding trade relationships with China,” said Peter Liu, event co-chair.
Earlier in the day, Morneau visited the Squamish Nation and discussed the new government’s investments to improve living standards in Canada’s indigenous communities. This was followed by a luncheon with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
“Some people might challenge the new goverhnment’s budget published this year — why we put billions on helping indigenous communities, the seniors, children and solving environmental problems? I think Canada will benefit as a whole from the government strategy of supporting its diverse culture and making fair rules to every social group,” Guo said.
“Overseas Chinese in North America were politically marginalized for long decades,” Guo said. “And I am glad that we are making progress here to let the new government hear our voices.”
Bill Morneau, Canadian finance minister