Li Keqiang Meets with Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Attends the Fifth China-Canada Business Forum
On February 9, 2012, Vice Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang met in Beijing with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Li said that China-Canada relations have maintained the sound momentum of development with the joint efforts of both sides in recent years. The bilateral ties enjoy enormous vigor and development potential and both sides have the sincere desire to speed up the mutually beneficial cooperation. The latest results achieved by both sides are of great significance to deepening the bilateral economic, trade and cultural cooperation. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Canada, step up dialogue and exchanges, expand pragmatic cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, energy resources, science, technology and education and accelerate the progress of bilateral strategic partnership.
Harper noted that the Canadian side attaches great importance to developing relations with China and expects to maintain regular bilateral high-level exchanges, expand the mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas, reinforce dialogue and consultations in multilateral affairs and raise the bilateral relations to a higher level.
Following the meeting, Li and Harper jointly attended the fifth China-Canada Business Forum and delivered speeches.
Li said in his speech that world multi-polarization and economic globalization are growing deeper and countries are more interdependent economically nowadays. The international financial crisis is far from being ended and world economic growth has slowed down significantly. It is gratifying that Asia Pacific has become the most dynamic region with the greatest growth potential in the world. This has brought new opportunities for both China and Canada.
He pointed out that economic and trade cooperation is the major driver of China-Canada relations. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 42 years ago, China-Canada economic and trade cooperation has grown vigorously with the joint efforts of both sides and the bilateral trade volume has expanded 300 times. China is implementing the 12th five-year plan and will seek progress while focusing on maintaining stability, expand domestic demand under the condition of opening wider to the outside world, push forward structural readjustment through reform and innovation and promote long-term stable and relatively fast economic growth and coordinated economic and social development. Canada is also fulfilling the trade and investment diversification strategy. The two countries are highly complementary in terms of industrial structure and resource endowments and hence enjoy promising prospects of deepening the mutually beneficial cooperation.
He stressed that the two sides should further gather strategic consensus and step up convergence of interests under new circumstances, enhance the bilateral economic and trade cooperation and convert the complementary strengths into more mutually beneficial results. First, China and Canada should tap the potential, make best use of the China-Canada Investment Protection Agreement and the results of joint researches on China-Canada complementary strengths and broaden the bilateral trade and investment. China will increase imports of Canada's competitive products. Second, the two countries should complement each other with advantages, establish long-term stable cooperative relations in energy resources, actively conduct energy trade and implement more large oil, gas and minerals cooperation projects. Third, both sides should look into the future, boost cooperation on emerging industries, like energy saving and environmental protection, finance and pharmaceuticals and lead the international competition. Cooperation in the fields of education, tourism and culture and at local levels should be strengthened, people-to-people exchanges should be expanded and the social foundation of China-Canada cooperation should be consolidated.
Harper noted in his speech that Canada is deeply encouraged by the sound momentum of Canada-China economic and trade cooperation and believes China's development creates major opportunities for Canada. His country is willing to further broaden the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, create enabling environment for the business cooperation between both countries and strive for more pragmatic results.
China-Canada Business Forum was initiated jointly by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Canada China Business Council in 2005 for the purpose of promoting the bilateral economic and trade relations. Four sessions have been held so far. More than 500 delegates, including entrepreneurs, government officials, experts and scholars of China and Canada participated in the event this year.