Canada China Business Council and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Welcome Prime Minister Harper to Beijing
Beijing, February 9, 2012 – The Canada China Business Council (CCBC) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) are honoured to host the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, and Vice-Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, LI Keqiang, at the 5th Canada-China Business Forum. With over 500 delegates in attendance, this forum represents the most important gathering this year of Canadian and Chinese business and government leaders, and provides an opportunity for delegates to meet and interact with companies active across a broad spectrum of sectors in China.
“I congratulate [the CCBC] for helping build stronger trade relations between Canada and China,” said the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.
“Relationship bridges at the most senior levels of government are essential to the long-term economic growth of Canada and China,” said Peter Harder, President of the Canada China Business Council. “CCBC members benefit a great deal from the Prime Minister’s visit to China, and we are honoured by his attendance at this 5th CCBF.” The Forum, which features three plenary sessions with prominent business leaders from Canada and China, also includes a signing ceremony that, witnessed by the Prime Minister, will recognize nearly 50 Canadian and Chinese firms with major partnership deals to announce.
“Tangible evidence of the success of Prime Minister Harper’s visit are the many significant signings taking place today which involve organizations of all sizes and interests,” said Peter Kruyt, Chairman of the Canada China Business Council.
“The critical and long awaited Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement which was 20 years in the making as well as multiple framework agreements in many key industrial sectors are also testament to the great success of this visit.”
“As our trade volume with China increases, especially in resources, it is essential for businesses to grow their economic activities with a focus on our obvious complementarities such as energy & resources, but also on areas of potential growth, where many SMEs are succeeding. The signing ceremony shines a spotlight on those companies that are succeeding in these important markets, and recognizes the myriad of opportunities that exist for Canadian businesses investing abroad,” said Harder.
“Canada has great technology, and China has enormous needs. But one of the challenges is that most of the technology is in the hands of small and medium-sized enterprises, and it is particularly hard for SMEs to do business a long way from home,” said Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director of the Canada China Business Council.
“CCBC is very pleased to work together with CCPIT and to be able to support so many of these firms with their successes in China. 20% of today’s agreements are from SMEs in the cleantech or environment sector. Some marry Canadian technology with Chinese market access. It is also a sector that figures heavily in China’s 12th five-year plan. CCBC always tells companies that if they want to succeed in China, they need to understand the five-year plan, and the diversity of these deals shows that there are many aspects of energy-saving and environmental sectors in this plan that can be explored. Agreements range from equipment to water treatment to mobile workforce solutions in the solar energy sector.”
Prime Minister Harper’s China visit featured a variety of cultural experiences, including a performance at the 5th CCBF by oil and sand painter Guo Quanhong, whose performance delighted the audience of 500 Canadian and Chinese business people. Master Guo has participated in art competitions in China, as well as in Japan and Germany.
Garrick K.C. Ngai
Director of Communications
Canada China Business Council