Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Canada Will Deepen Trade Ties to Asian Markets, Minister SaysWednesday, November 02, 2011 > 09:48:08
(The Vancouver Sun – Brian Morton)
The Canadian government plans to deepen trade ties to international markets, especially in high-growth Asian countries, International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in Vancouver Friday.
“With one in five Canadian jobs dependent on trade, expanding Canada’s trade and investment ties around the world, particularly in high-growth Asian markets, will help protect and create new jobs and prosperity for hard-working Canadians,” Fast, who is also minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, said in an address at the Vancouver Board of Trade. “Whether it’s in China, Japan or Southeast Asia, Canada’s financial security depends on Canadian businesses continuing to expand and succeed within this regional engine of global growth.”
Fast said increased trade not only helps Canada, but helps lift much of the world’s population out of poverty. “At the same time, we are able to share with those emerging from troubled histories our best practices for creating better social conditions, improved governance and greater respect for human rights and the rule of law, all of which go together with a rise from poverty to prosperity.”
Fast said the Harper government plans to strengthen ties with the U.S. – “(which) will continue to be our largest trading partner” – as well as the Americas and the European Union.
He said negotiations are continuing toward new trade and investment agreements with China, India, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The member countries of the latter group make up Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner.
Fast cited the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, a transportation network that connects Asian and North American markets, as a competitive advantage. “Canada’s ports here on the west coast are more than two days closer to Asian markets than are any other ports in North America.”
Fast said that between 2006 and 2010, Canada’s market share of North American west coast container traffic increased by almost 30% and that Canadian exports to China reached $13.2 billion in 2010, a 19% increase over 2009.
Citing the U.S. industry publication Wood Resource Quarterly’s forecast that Canadian lumber exports to China will reach a record $1.2 billion US in 2011, Fast said B.C.’s annual exports of wood products to that country more than tripled from 2008 to 2010, from $179 million to $669 million. “A number of sawmills in B.C., including operations in Quesnel, Vavenby and Mackenzie, have reopened to help meet the growing demand from China for B.C. wood products.”
Fast warned that anti-trade forces represent a “real and present danger” to a global economy interconnected by supply chains and trading blocs.
Fast also said that Southeast Asia is a region of growing economic importance to Canada, and is a priority market under the federal government’s Global Commerce Strategy. “It’s a market of approximately 600 million consumers, a growing middle class and abundant natural resources.”
Last week, Fast finished his first trade mission to China, visiting six cities in seven days. “It reinforced my view that even closer trade and investment ties between Canada and China will be of enormous benefit to both our countries.”
Fast said his trade visit focused on seven critical sectors – aerospace, financial services, clean and ethical energy, advanced manufacturing, education, agri-food, and natural resources – and that Canadian businesses need to help China’s economy grow by providing its growing middle class with the goods and services it needs.
Fast noted that Canada’s trade with Chile has more than tripled, reaching $2.5 billion in 2010, since the two countries signed a free-trade agreement in 1997. Canadian direct investment in Chile has quadrupled since 1997, according to Statistics Canada.