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Bank of China plays vital role in China-Canada trade relations: minister

(Xinhua)

10:39, March 24, 2012

TORONTO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Bank of China's continued growth in Canada plays a vital role in China-Canada economic relations, said Canada's Finance Minister James Flaherty at the opening ceremony of the bank's art exhibition in Toronto on Friday.

The art exhibition at the Exchange Tower is part of the Bank of China's 100th anniversary celebrations. Flaherty gave a keynote speech and then took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the show.

"They have a million customers here in Canada, haven't been here that long," he said in an interview with Xinhua. "(They are) expanding and have a new office in Montreal this year, new office in Ottawa next year, I expect continuing growth. We're major trading partners, and they'll be a major player in facilitating that trade between China and Canada."

He mentioned that during his trip to China last year, he saw plenty of prospects for not only Canada's financial institutions but also insurance companies in China. And in order to strengthen and play a part in stabilizing the world market, both countries must learn and gain from each other, he said.

"Since the financial crisis, I think China looked to Canada in terms of some financial regulations, because Canada's financial regulations and our regulatory system functioned well during the global crisis," said Flaherty. "Our financial institutions have been permitted to expand in China and Chinese institutions like the Bank of China are expanding here in Canada, so it's a very good mutually beneficial relationship."

He stressed the importance of the two countries' continued cooperation. "I think we need to continue what we're doing, and that is to continue our mutuality of interest," he said. "We have very common goals with respect to a strong world financial order, a strong regulation in the world."

The art exhibition running from March 23 to Jun 23 showcases Chinese paintings and Bank of China's historical photos to promote multiculturalism and cultural exchange between the two countries.

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