Canadian Prime Minister to Lead Trade Mission to China

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced December 1 that he will lead the Team Canada trade mission to China in February 2001.

The prime minister, emerging from a huge win of 176 seats from the November 27 federal election, said he will head the team of more than 300 members including provincial premiers and territorial leaders to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from February 9 to 18, 2001.

"I am pleased to return to office with a renewed majority mandate. And I am delighted that the Team Canada mission to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong has been rescheduled for the first weeks of the Chinese New Year," said the prime minister in a government statement.

"It is fitting that we visit this vital trading partner at this time of new beginnings to express our renewed commitment to our trade and investment relationships in China," he added.

According to the statistics from the Chinese Customs, trade volume between China and Canada reached a record high of nearly US$4.8 billion in 1999. As of October 1999, Canada's investment in China was estimated at nearly US$7 billion, accounting for 2.9 percent of its total external investment, while China's investment in Canada was put at US$33 million.

Hong Kong, as one of the most important trading and commercial centers in the world, has become the 13th largest export market for Canada, which is Hong Kong's 11th importer.

People's Daily Online ---