OTTAWA, ONT. – Highlighting the importance of bilateral trade and promoting Canadian agriculture and seafood products was the focus of the country’s largest ever trade mission to China.
Agriculture and Agri-Food minister Lawrence MacAulay led the recent delegation of more than 100 Canadian industry representatives in a 10-day mission with an aim of creating new opportunities to help grow the economy.
MacAulay said the mission is an example of the government’s commitment to working with global partners to expand market opportunities.
“We are not only creating tremendous trade opportunities for Canadian companies and exporters of agricultural products, we are creating jobs, strengthening the middle class and growing the Canadian economy,” said MacAulay.
China is Canada’s second largest trading partner, behind the U.S., with bilateral agriculture and food trade having increased by 13 per cent in the last three years to reach $7.7 billion dollars.
This mission involved more than 100 Canadian industry representatives from across the country, including P.E.I. Agriculture minister Alan McIsaac as well as his Nova Scotia, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador counterparts. Also on the mission are representatives from the seafood, livestock, pork, beef, grains, oilseeds, pulses, processed foods, beverages and horticultural sectors.
More than 120 Canadian exhibitors were also participating in the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao and in the Food and Hospital China trade show in Shanghai.
The mission aimed to build on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the country in September.
The first portion of the mission included visits to Qingdao and Beijing, where MacAulay said he met with key Chinese officials to discuss market development opportunities while also promoting Canadian products.
Part of that involved MacAulay signing a memorandum of understanding with the State Administration of Grain to strengthen ties with the Canadian Grain Commission.
MacAulay continued the mission by going to Shanghai, while other members of the delegation attended business meetings and events in Guangzhou.