International Trade Minister to lead a lumber mission on his first official visit to China

News Release

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, will conduct his first official visit to China, from April 21 to 26, 2017. With a priority emphasis on growing Canadian wood exports to China, the Minister will be accompanied on his visit by representatives of the ‎wood and forest industry from Canada in order to diversify their markets, as well as by representatives of key government agencies, including Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening commercial ties with China in order to open new opportunities for Canadian companies of all sizes, which can lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians and Canada’s middle class.

While in China, Minister Champagne will meet with Chinese government and business leaders, including woman entrepreneurs, to discuss ways to expand the bilateral relationship, increase connections between Canadian and Chinese business communities and promote tourism.

In particular, the Minister will focus on promoting the use of Canadian wood and wood products in China. In the company of Canadian wood sector representatives, Minister Champagne will engage with Chinese influencers and industry leaders—including ministerial counterparts, importers and buyers of wood products, forest sector investors and representatives of Canada Wood Group—to showcase the high quality of Canadian lumber, pulp and innovative wood-building systems. As well, he will underscore Canada’s innovation and leadership in the modernization of mass-timber construction and the reliable supply of legal and environmentally responsible forest products.

On April 23, Minister Champagne will lead the Canadian delegation at the 2017 China Green Companies Summit in Zhengzhou, where he will focus on best practices in corporate governance and sustainability and will participate in the Canadian panel session organized by the Canada China Business Council.

On April 25, Minister Champagne will join Finance Minister Bill Morneau to co-chair the launch of the Canada-China Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, a key commitment made during the reciprocal official visits of the two countries’ leaders.

Minister Duclos will also be traveling to the United Kingdom on April 23, and will engage with forest product importers to support the Canadian industry.

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, will travel to Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei, from April 22 to 28, to further explore opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region for Canadian exporters in the forest industry.

Before leaving Canada, on April 20, Minister Champagne will lead a green-sector round table in Montréal with local Canadian business representatives, regarding Canada-China trade. This is part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing public consultations regarding a possible Canada-China free-trade agreement. 


Quotes

“Expanding trade with large, fast-growing markets is a priority for the Government of Canada since so many jobs in Canada are tied to our open, export-oriented economy. As the world’s second-largest economy, China presents many new opportunities to increase and diversify Canadian exports, including in the wood sector.

“The Canada-China relationship is vast and dynamic and provides new opportunities for our businesses, which will translate into growth, well-paying jobs and opportunities for our middle class.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • Canada’s bilateral trade with China reached a value of $85 billion in 2016, and Canada and China’s two-way foreign direct investment reached $33 billion at the end of 2015.

  • Canada’s merchandise exports to China in 2016 were worth $21 billion, up 4 percent over 2015, with the top exports being forest products, agricultural products, ores and motor vehicles.

  • Canadians of Chinese descent make up approximately 4.5 percent of Canada’s population.

  • Approximately 118,000 Chinese students are studying in Canada, making them the largest group of international students on Canadian campuses.

  • China is an important tourism market for Canada. More than 610,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada in 2016. China is Canada’s third-largest source of tourists.

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