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Strengthened Canada-China partnership will make a difference for Canadian exporters: CME

Published by CME Webmaster on February 08, 2012

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canada's largest trade and industry association, welcomes the agreements on investment, energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, and agriculture that were signed today between Canada and China and witnessed by Prime Minister Harper and Premier Wen Jiabao.

"These agreements strengthen Canada's position as a strategic partner for China, advance our commercial interests within the second largest market in the world, and promise to deliver enhanced access to China's market for Canadian exporters," says CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers.

"The cooperation initiatives address key issues we have raised on behalf of Canadian manufacturers and exporters, and will make a difference for Canadian companies looking to grow their business with China," adds Myers. "The implementation of a Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) is especially important. It will improve the treatment of investment by providing investors greater certainty and predictability."

The Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation enables new cooperation in critical areas such as nuclear energy, oil and gas, and renewable energy, and will help Canadian businesses grow their exports of energy products and technologies.

"CME looks forward to additional enhancements in Canada-China energy cooperation through additional steps such as the conclusion of the updated Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and an MOU on Canada-China Nuclear Energy Cooperation," says Myers.

The new protocol on beef tallow, meanwhile, will provide immediate market access for Canadian exporters – assuming the agreement completely re-opens this market. This could translate into more than $100 million in increased beef tallow exports to China.

The MOU on joint canola research should also help demonstrate that Canadian canola oil poses little to no risk to Chinese canola production, and thereby lead to China's elimination of its blackleg import restrictions introduced in 2009, which led to a 47 per cent reduction in Canadian canola exports to China.

"These are practical, incremental steps that not only deal with business issues, but also build trust and will lead to greater cooperation between business and government leaders in both countries," says Myers. "Today's announcements show that the Prime Minister's leadership in providing economic diplomacy for Canadian companies does make a difference for manufacturers and exporters looking to take advantage of growing opportunities in China.

"We also look forward to the Prime Minister continuing to engage China's leaders on key issues, such as ensuring reciprocal market access, fair currency valuation, reciprocal treatment of investment, improved enforcement of intellectual property rights, promoting Canada as an investment destination, and making progress on a Canada-Hong Kong double taxation agreement."

CME Chairman Roy Cook is accompanying the Prime Minister on his trip to China this week.


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