Chinese, Canadian companies sign $3b deals

Updated: 2012-02-09 21:51


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BEIJING - More than 20 Chinese and Canadian companies on Thursday signed cooperative deals of about $3 billion on the sidelines of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's China visit.

The deals, covering areas including aviation, finance, rail transit, mining, telecommunications, construction, environmental protection, education, and pharmaceuticals, were signed at the fifth China-Canadian Business Forum.

"The economic and trade cooperation is an important driving force for the development of China-Canada relations," said Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang while addressing the forum, adding China's 12th five-year development plan and Canada's strategy to promote diversity of trade and investment provide broad prospects for bilateral cooperation.

He called on the two countries to give full play to the bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and further enlarge two-way trade and investment.

China will increase imports of Canada's advantage products, Li said.

He said the two countries should establish long-term and stable cooperation on energy resources, conduct more energy trade, and promote more large-scale cooperative programs on oil and gas and mining.

The vice premier also said the two sides should strengthen cooperation on energy conservation and environmental protection, finance and pharmaceuticals, while enlarging cooperation on education, tourism, culture and between localities, in order to consolidate China-Canada cooperation.

Harper said Canada felt inspired by the sound momentum of bilateral trade and cooperation, adding that China's development is Canada's important opportunity. He also vowed to provide better conditions for cooperation between companies.

Prior to the forum, Li and Harper held a brief meeting.

During the meeting, Li spoke highly of the development of China-Canada relations and said China is ready to work with Canada to strengthen dialogue and exchanges, expand cooperation in trade, energy resources, technology and education, so as to push forward their strategic partnership.

Harper said Canada attaches high importance to its relations with China and will keep frequent high-level exchanges with China and strengthen dialogue and consultation in multilateral affairs.

The China-Canada Business Forum was established by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Canada-China Business Council in 2005. More than 500 people from the two countries' companies, governments and academies attended the forum.

This is Harper's second visit. He will fly to Guangzhou in South Guangdong province and Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality after leaving Beijing.