Strat­egy boost for fi­nance ties

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

China and Canada will up­grade their eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial strate­gic di­a­logue to the vice-pre­mier level, which will start in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017, ac­cord­ing to Wang Tian­wen, min­is­ter and deputy chief of mis­sion of Chi­nese em­bassy in Canada.

Speak­ing at a Canada China Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards lun­cheon hosted by the Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil (CCBC) on Dec 2 in Toronto, Wang said 2016 has been a his­toric and ex­traor­di­nary year for China and Canada.

The ex­change of vis­its by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang and Pre­mier Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau in Septem­ber added a great boost to bi­lat­eral ties, Wang noted.

Fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides has grown strong. In Novem­ber, the Na­tional Bank of Canada is­sued a 3.5 bil­lion yuan panda bond, the first North Amer­i­can fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion to do so, af­ter Bei­jing ap­proved its 5 bil­lion yuan bond pro­gramme in Septem­ber.

The Bank of Mon­treal be­came one of the first mar­ket mak­ers for di­rect trad­ing of yuan against the Cana­dian dol­lar in the interbank for­eign ex­change mar­ket.

Both sides have agreed to launch ex­ploratory dis­cus­sions on a China- Canada free trade agree­ment (FTA), which will be held early next year in Bei­jing.

“A bi­lat­eral FTA not only fa­cil­i­tates the ex­pan­sion of our eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion but also sends a clear sig­nal of pro­mot­ing trade lib­er­al­iza­tion and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” said Wang.

Sev­eral small- to medi­um­sized com­pa­nies, univer­si­ties and Chi­nese in­vest­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions in Canada re­ceived awards dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

“The winners hon­oured to­day have, over the past two years, made tremen­dous strides in grow­ing their en­ter­prises and deep­en­ing their ties with China,” said Gra­ham Shantz, new pres­i­dent of CCBC, who has lived and worked for al­most six years in China and speaks flu­ent Man­darin.

“We have com­mit­ted to hav­ing the lead­ers get to­gether once a year,” Shantz added. “That pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity for two gov­ern­ments to talk about is­sues im­por­tant to them, and our mem­bers will be in­vited to con­trib­ute to the con­sul­ta­tion.”

Sinopec Canada, Zong­shen In­dus­trial Group and Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Canada re­ceived Chi­nese In­vest­ment in Canada Awards pre­sented by the CCBC.

“It’s a re­flec­tion of how well Canada has in­te­grated the Chi­nese and Cana­dian busi­ness cul­tures,” said Kevin Long, vice-pres­i­dent of Sinopec Canada.

“We are a unique hy­brid in Canada and a real model for Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Canada.”

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