China and Canada: An Economic Friendship

China and Canada, two very important economic players in the Asia Pacific, are surveying the benefits to come from their relationship.  The Wall Street Journal reports on the Canadian International Trade Minister’s ongoing trip to China:

Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast, in the midst of a week-long trip in China, said Tuesday his government is in talks with the world’s second-biggest economy on a foreign investment protection deal.

Such a deal “would lead to stronger economic growth in both our countries,” Fast said in a statement. “Negotiations are moving forward, and our countries are working together to reach an agreement that is acceptable and mutually beneficial to both sides.”

Meanwhile, China has recently acquired a major Canadian oil and gas company. From The Globe and Mail:

A unit of China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec) has signed a deal to buy Canadian oil and gas explorer Daylight Energy Ltd. for $2.2-billion in cash, underscoring China’s quest to secure enough energy to power its booming economy.

Chinese buyers have been taking advantage of depressed stock prices and a difficult fundraising environment to make deals. A combination of falling oil prices and debt levels has hit Canadian oil and gas shares in recent months as investors fret that growth prospects are shrivelling.

Another article from The Globe and Mail outlines China’s activity in Canada’s oil sector since 2005.

While China eyes oil-rich Canada, Canada is looking to population-rich China in hopes that its burgeoning middle class will provide tourist revenue.  Xinhua reports:

“China is on pace to become the world’s largest outbound market.With a growing middle-class, a booming economy and an increased outbound travel potential, the China market presents huge opportunities for the Canadian economy,” [Canadian Minister of State Maxime] Bernier said.

About 32 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad in the first half of 2011, making for a year-on-year growth rate of 19 percent, according to the National Tourism Administration of China.

China and Canada signed an Approved Destination Status agreement (ADS) in 2010, allowing Chinese travelers to visit Canada in organized and pre-sold tour groups, which created potential for the significant growth of Canadian tourism, Bernier said. In the year after the ADS agreement, the number of Chinese visitors to Canada surged by over 20 percent.

The minister said the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) will make more efforts to build Canada’s image in China.

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