A unique opportunity for progress
Huge potential remains to be tapped from the G20 as it provides a unique opportunity for leaders to reach consensus on future direction, and China’s efforts to make it more effective are deeply appreciated, Canada’s top envoy in China said.
“The G20, inmy view, is maybe now the most important multilateral organization because it brings together the 20 most important and largest economies and I don’t think we have yet made full use of what it can achieve,” Guy Saint-Jacques, Canadian ambassador to China, said.
Saint-Jacques believes the leaders will discuss how to work together to better promote the advantages of globalization because the economic recovery is still fragile and more work needs to be done to stimulate growth.
“But you can see around the world a lot of resentment about the usefulness of trade agreements,” he said, adding that Canada, as a country that depends greatly on international trade, fully understands the need to remove trade barriers and “it has resulted in good growth”.
The theme of the upcoming G20 Summit is “building an innovative, revitalized, interconnected and inclusive world economy”.
“We like the theme of innovation very much because it coincides with some of our domestic priorities,” Saint-Jacques said, noting that the new government under Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come up with an innovation agenda, which aims to make Canada a global innovation leader.
Hangzhou, the host city of the summit, is home to many of China’s e-commerce enterprises, including e-commerce giant Alibaba.
“I think the G20 in Hangzhou gives a very good opportunity for the prime minister and our business companies to better tap into the potential that exists in Hangzhou and Zhejiang province,” he said.
According to the ambassador, Trudeau plans to have a meeting in Hangzhou with Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba.
“We are working on an event to better promote Canadian products on various platforms of Alibaba,” he said.
Saint-Jacques first came to China more than 32 years ago, but he went to Hangzhou for the first time only two years ago.
“Now I better understand why President Xi Jinping chose Hangzhou to hold the summit and why Hangzhou was called one of the top tourist destinations in China,” he said.
The people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada have seen rapid growth since Canada got Approved Destination Status in 2010.
China has become Canada’s third-largest source of visitors, with more than 88,000 Chinese travelers visiting Canada in the first quarter of the year, andCanada was the first country that issued 10-year multi-entry visas for Chinese travelers.
“We want to look at how we can expand tourism on both directions,” Saint-Jacques said, adding that about 600,000 Canadians visited China last year.
To facilitate tourism, there will be more air links and flights between the two countries, and Canada hopes to get more visa application centers in China, the ambassador said.
GUY SAINT-JACQUES Canadian Ambassador to China