OTTAWA, Nov. 2 -- The upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be a historic and successful event in the world, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay has said.
The minister is going to lead a Canadian delegation of more than 600 Canadian federal ministers, provincial premiers and business people to participate in the CIIE, which, the first one in Chinese history, will be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10.
Canada is one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China and their relations have enjoyed a solid foundation and bright prospects.
At different stages of development, the two countries' economies are highly complementary, making them natural partners of cooperation.
According to the Chinese Embassy to Canada, the trade volume between the two countries, which hit about 73 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, rose to some 50 billion in the first eight months of 2018.
People-to-people exchanges are also growing. Each week 90 or so flights crisscross between the two nations, making more than 1.3 million visits between them in 2017.
Among delegations from American and European areas to the CIIE, the Canadian delegation is one of the largest, a clear sign of the great importance Canada attaches to the event.
While embracing the first CIIE, Canadian participants hope to give full play to the competitiveness of their exhibits and products.
EYEING GROWING MARKET
The year of 2018 sees a turbulent world with rising protectionism and unilateralism, while China, together with other countries, endeavors to safeguard the rule-based international order and the multilateral trading system.
The CIIE is the latest move of the country to promote trade liberalization and to further open its market to the world.
"China is the world's second-largest economy and growing, and will remain an important place to do business and to look for opportunities," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Fortune Global Forum 2018 in Toronto in October.
Trudeau told the audience that Canada is open to doing more business with China and that the newly-reached United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement does not stop Canada from doing business with whom it pleases.
The Canadian business community views the CIIE as an opportunity to exploit the vast Chinese market.
"Canada China Business Council (CCBC) recognizes the CIIE as a prime opportunity for members and potential members who want to secure their future growth by seeking greater economic opportunities in the Chinese market," said Graham Shantz, president of the CCBC.
The Canadian policy community has been calling for increased relations with China for quite some time and many insist that increasing trade with China is in Canada's best interest.
A report released on Oct. 11 by Canada's Public Policy Forum (PPF) said that Canada cannot expect to thrive without engaging China.
The report, named Diversification Not Dependence: A Made-in-Canada China Strategy, concluded that Canada can truly diversify its trade and break its dependence on a single partner by pursuing a strategy built on sectoral trade agreements with China.
"Without a diversification plan that includes China, Canada will stifle its growth and its influence in the world," said Edward Greenspon, co-chair of the PPF.
China's desire for better security of supply can be met by Canada's desire for greater stability of demand in its exports, read the report.
To many Canadians, the CIIE is a platform for Canada to achieve its goal of trade diversification and economic growth.
"This expo will give us the opportunity to continue to promote (the export of) our high-quality seafood, especially our Nova Scotia lobster and sea cucumber," said Stephen McNeil, premier of Canada's maritime province of Nova Scotia, who is looking forward to his upcoming visit to China. (Xinhua)