A unique op­por­tu­nity for progress

China Daily (USA) - - G20 2016 CHINA - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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

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