China and Canada agreed to jointly facilitate economic growth in the two countries and worldwide, releasing a positive signal to jointly defend the global multilateral system and economic globalization after a high-level dialogue on Monday.
Canada Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr co-chaired the first Canada-China Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue (EFSD) along with Chinese State Councillor Wang Yong.
The two countries agreed to work together to double agricultural trade by 2025, focus on priority sectors like agriculture and energy, and committed to strengthening economic and commercial cooperation, as well as continuing exploratory discussions toward a potential comprehensive trade agreement.
"Expanding and diversifying our relationships, particularly with fast-growing economies such as China, is an important part of strengthening and growing the middle class and building an economy that works for everyone," said Morneau.
"The dialogue is an important next step in advancing our economic relationship with China, with real benefits for Canada — giving Canadian businesses more opportunities to compete, delivering stronger economic growth, and helping to create more good, well-paying jobs for the middle class," Morneau continued.
The EFSD's prospects to create a larger and more stable platform for bilateral commerce were reinforced by $1.67 billion in commercial deals signed by 48 Canadian companies during the China International Import Expo held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10.
During the EFSD, Canada and China made commitments in energy and other natural resource sectors that will help lead the global transition to a low-carbon economy. Canada and China forged partnerships that will deepen regulatory cooperation and give financial companies more occasions to work together and to seek opportunities in both countries.
"Canada and China enjoy strong economic and people-to-people ties, and the Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen our cooperation," said Carr.
Carr said increased trade with China continues to be a priority for Canada as part of its trade diversification strategy. "More trade with fast-growing economies in Asia means continued success for Canadian businesses, leading to economic prosperity and more well-paid jobs for Canadians," he said.
China hopes to further enhance macroeconomic policy cooperation and to implement the important consensus achieved by the two countries' leaderships, said Wang.
He also expected to broaden the scale of Sino-Canadian economic cooperation, to jointly promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and to improve global economic governance.
According to a statement released by Global Affairs Canada, as major economies and trading nations, Canada and China share a common interest in strong economic, financial and trading systems that benefit their citizens.
The two countries made more than 50 agreements to strengthen the bilateral economic relationship. And the results could benefit both sides in a win-win situation, according to a statement after the dialogue.
The EFSD provided an opportunity to share views, enhance cooperation, and help expand trade and investment opportunities between Canada and China. The EFSD also helped advance our mutual interests in financial sector policy and services and explored ways for exporters in each country to compete and succeed in each other's markets and around the globe.
While in Beijing, ministers Morneau and Carr also addressed the Canada China Business Council, promoting Canadian investment opportunities and helping to strengthen connections between Canadian and Chinese business communities.
China remains Canada's second-largest single-country merchandise trading partner. In the first nine months of the year, Sino-Canadian trade volume reached $47.2 billion, up by 24.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs.
In 2017, the two countries' total trade volume was $51.7 billion, a year-on-year rise of 13.3 percent, the customs administration said. China and Canada also aim to double their trade volume in the decade leading up to 2025, officials said.
This year also marks the China-Canada Tourism Year 2018. In 2017, more than 1.5 million visits were made between the two countries, promoting people-to-people exchanges and bilateral cooperation, according to Canadian immigration agency officials. Canada has set a goal of doubling the number of Chinese tourists visiting Canada by 2021, they said.