Canadian PM heads to China

February 7th, 2012 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Ottawa, Feb 7 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Monday on a five-day official visit to China to enhance strategic partnership between the two countries.

Harper is taking along a large delegation of ministers and MPs, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

Also travelling is a strong business delegation with representatives from the energy, transport, education and other sectors.

The visit will take them to Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing Feb 7-11.

Harper told Xinhua that Canada was looking for new markets for its goods and services, and China and the entire Asia-Pacific region were an area of tremendous opportunity.

“We hope to expand on our strategic partnership with China, and in particular we hope to deepen the economic and trade ties between our two countries,” he said.

Harper stressed that like China, Canada was also a Pacific nation with a growing economy and strong potential. So it makes sense for China and Canada to be fully engaged with each other.

Harper paid his first visit to China in December 2009, which took him to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and led to a return visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao in June 2010.

China is Canada’s second largest individual trading partner after the US, and bilateral trade is expanding rapidly.

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