Priority sectors for this trade mission included agriculture and agri-food, information and communications technologies, aerospace, biotechnology, education, natural resources, transportation, financial services and tourism.
The People's Republic of China (excluding the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) is Canada's fourth largest export market. In 2005, Canada's total merchandise exports to China amounted to $7.1 billion, an increase of 6% over 2004. Total merchandise imports from China increased to $29.5 billion in 2005, up 22% over 2004. In 2003 (the last year for which statistics are available), Canada exported $754 million in services to China. The rapid recent growth of manufacturing in China has made it an increasingly important player in global supply chains. (Franks 30)
Canada was a strong supporter of China's membership in the WTO. Canada's market access agreement with China, signed in 1999, took effect in December 2001 when China joined the organization. China's accession to the WTO in December 2001, and its ongoing process of implementing WTO commitments, opens up new opportunities in trade and investment for Canadian companies, for example, in the transportation equipment, financial and business services sectors. The agreement commits China to lower tariffs for Canadian goods and increased access to Chinese markets for Canadian service providers. Several projects sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are providing Chinese policy makers with advice on managing the transition to an open, rules based economic system.
Canada and China established diplomatic relations in 1970. In October 1973, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was the first Canadian prime minister to officially visit China. This year marks the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Since 1994, Canadian and Chinese ministers, Canadian provincial leaders and Chinese governors have been making several visits to each other's country every year. in September 2004 Canada and China resumed stalled negotiations in Beijing to develop a Canada-China bilateral investment treaty (also called a foreign investment protection and promotion agreement by Canadian officials),aimed to open up the investment gates and encourage direct investment in each others markets,.
In January 2005, Prime Minister Martin visited China and Hong Kong, as a business delegation led by the Minister of International Trade. A joint action plan related to the Canada-China Strategic Working Group was released on that occasion. Later, in September 2005, Chinese President Hu Jin Tao visited Canada, and several agreements facilitating bilateral trade were signed. Canada's International Policy Statement, released in April 2005, recognizes China's growing global influence and articulates a new government-wide priority to broaden and deepen our engagement with China. Canada's relationship with China is evolving into a multi-faceted and increasingly interdependent partnership.
Trade and investment between two countries
China is Canada's second largest source of imported goods, with imports equaling $29.5 billion in 2005, more than the combined value of third and fourth place Japan and Mexico. During the