Canada trade links tightened

Updated: 2012-02-09 07:09

By Cheng Guangjin and Cui Haipei (China Daily)

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Wen and Harper witness signing of agreements across a range of sectors

BEIJING - China and Canada signed a series of agreements on Wednesday covering energy, investments and other sectors, in a sign of improved ties amid the global economic slowdown.

China wants to increase imports of energy and resources from Canada, Premier Wen Jiabao told Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper before they witnessed the signing of nine deals, including a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation.

Wen also urged the early signing of an investment protection agreement and said the two sides could step up discussions on the feasibility of a free trade agreement.

Other deals signed covered science, technology, academic exchanges, the development of natural resources and Canadian beef and tallow exports to China.

Harper, on a five-day visit to China that started on Tuesday, leads a strong delegation of five ministers and 40 business leaders.

Negotiations on a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement have been concluded, Wen said.

China and Canada began negotiating the agreement in 1994 but for years made little progress.

Both nations will need to conduct a legal review of the deal and then sign and ratify it before it can take effect, according to Reuters.

Canada trade links tightened

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shares a light moment with two Beijing residents playing Chinese chess during a visit to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Wednesday. Zhang Yunbi / China Daily 

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