Business / Economy

Ontario inks deals worth $2b with firms in China

By Lyu Chang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-14 11:28

A trade delegation from Ontario, Canada's most-populous province, has sealed more than 100 agreements with Chinese companies, valued at around $2 billion.

Wing On New Group Canada Inc, the global food and consumer goods trading firm, signed three deals alone, worth a total $173 million.

One involves Inc, China's second-largest e-commerce player, buying $75 million worth of Canadian goods and helping distribute them in China.

Another is worth $60 million, with China Telecom Best Tone Information Service Co Ltd, to sell food and nutritional products in China. And the third sees Cross-border City Americo Wholesale, a Beijing-based investment management company, agreeing to buy Canadian goods worth $38 million over the next three years, and opening 30 outlets across China to sell them.

"Trade is essential for our economic growth and international competitiveness. We are strengthening Ontario's political and economic ties with China," said the province's Premier Kathleen Wynne, who led the mission, her second to China in a year.

Beijing was the final stop after the delegates visited several other cities, including Nanjing in Jiangsu province.

Topping Wynne's agenda was promoting trade and boosting exports to China, and attracting investment from Chinese companies.

China has become Ontario's second-largest trading partner, behind the United States.

Exports from Ontario to China increased 10 percent during the first three quarters of this year while Canada's total exports to China rose just 3 percent.

Brad Duguid, its minister of economic development, employment and infrastructure, said with the US economy slowing during the global recession of 2008, trade officials from Ontario adopted a more global strategy.

"We learned the hard way that during a global recession, being attached to one economy like the US comes with consequences," he said.

"So our strategy in Ontario now is to think globally on everything. We may be a little late to the game, but we have good quality products and businesses with the cutting-edge technologies."

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