Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harper to visit India and China for the first time.

These visits and increased trade ties with both countries make a great deal of sense. Canada is overly dependent with trade with the US. Given our geographical location and our vast natural resources it is natural that the US is our largest trading partner but it makes a great deal of sense to have a more diversified trading pattern and sell our resources where we can get the best return. With growing economies both India and China will be willing to pay a good price for raw materials necessary to fuel their growing economies.

Harper to visit India, China for 1st time
CBC News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced plans to visit two of the world's emerging economic superpowers — China and India — for the first time this fall.

Harper will travel to India — where Canada recently opened new trade offices in Hyderabad, Calcutta and Ahmedabad — from Nov. 16 to 18 after meeting APEC leaders in Singapore, his office said in a statement released Wednesday in Ottawa.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day says Canada hopes to double bilateral trade with India — which currently stands at about $4.5 billion — by 2014.

“We share a history of cooperation in the Commonwealth and the United Nations, as well as a shared commitment to pluralism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law," Harper said in a statement.

"Our goal is to build a stronger, more dynamic partnership based on shared commercial, political and regional interests.”

The PMO also confirmed long-expected plans to visit China from Dec. 2 to 6.

"Our two countries enjoy a growing partnership, sharing significant interests in trade and investment, the environment and regional security," Harper said in a statement.

"Canada is committed to a strong relationship with China that reflects our mutual respect and the need for practical co-operation."

The importance of both countries to strengthening Canada's global trade ties is evidenced by the fact that there have been 11 ministerial-level visits to India and 18 to China since Harper's minority government was first elected in 2006.

However, relations with China have also been strained during Harper's tenure.

After Parliament unanimously adopted a motion giving honorary Canadian citizenship to the Dalai Lama in 2006, China threatened to use its considerable economic strength to penalize Canada.

In 2007, Harper warned China not to threaten Canada with economic repercussions for bringing up the Asian country's human rights record and standing up for the rights of Canadians abroad.

Harper was referring to the case of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian activist jailed in China for alleged terrorist links.

China is Canada's third-largest export destination, after the United States and the United Kingdom.

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