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Canada courts stronger trade relations with China

Canada courts stronger trade relations with China

Beijing: China is to be the focus of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell's current two week visit to Asia as part of Canada's Pacific Gateway expansion plan (CGP), to strengthen trade relations between the two countries in terms of shipping, energy and forest products.

Although the Campbell's first port of call is Tokyo, the bulk of his visit will be dedicated to the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong (SAR).

He said, "As we enter the Pacific century, it is critical that we build on our long-standing relationships with established partners like Japan and rapidly growing markets like China, if we are going to maintain our edge over our competitors."

Diplomatic ties between the two governments have been strained this week due to Chinese President Hu Jintao's refusal to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper before the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation conference in Hanoi.

Last month Harper pledged $591m in federal funds towards the CGP, which aims to increase the annual container capacity for British Columbian ports to seven million by 2020.  [15/11/06]