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Canada, China vow to double trade volume by 2010, says Canadian PM
( 2003-10-22 21:13) (China Daily)

Canada and China have agreed to double bilateral trade by the year 2010, said Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien here Wednesday.

At a press briefing, Chretien said he and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed on this during their talks this morning.

Prime Minister Chretien said they had "a lot of good discussions and the relations between China and Canada are very good."

"Basically we concluded that we have tripled our trade in the last ten years and agreed that we have a goal of doubling our trade before the year 2010."

He said they had discussed many bilateral problems and decided to work to solve problems such as opening the Chinese market more quickly, which is "a very important market".

Chretien said they also discussed other fields of collaboration such as in fighting against SARS, which struck China as well as Canada this spring.

He said they had talked for about an hour and it was "very rare " since they were very busy and they agreed to resume discussions this evening when they met with members of the Canada-China Business Council.

As to the deficit with China, Chretien said they agreed to work on this and close the gap but Canada also had deficits with other countries and this is not unique for China. The Chinese side would buy more Canadian products and Canada would increase the presence of its companies in China, noted the prime minister.

Chretien arrived in Beijing Tuesday evening for a four-day official visit to China.

According to statistics with the General Administration of Customs of China, trade volume with Canada in the first eight months of 2003 was 5.18 billion US dollars, up 6.7 percent year-on- year. Export volume from China was 2.74 billion dollars, up 22.7 percent and import was 2.44 billion dollars, down 7.0 percent.

The investment in use from Canada in the first nine months was 363 million dollars, an increase of 85.27 percent over the same period last year.

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