Thursday, February 9, 2012

Canada signs multiple trade deals with China

  Given the large number of high profile business representatives who accompanied Stephen Harper on his visit to China the results are not surprising. This was meant to be a business trip. China needs our resources and Canadian companies are eager to expand markets especially into the rapidly growing Asian economies such as China.
      A CBC article here list ten of what it calls a blizzard of deals. However a main framework agreement is the FIPA (Foreign investment production and protection agreement). The agreement is simply a statement of intent and would need to be ratified by both governments. The agreement when completed will protect Canadian investments in China and Chinese investments in Canada. The agreement will give investors in either country confidence that their investments will be safe in the other country. Such agreements are common. Canada has such agreements with 24 other countries already.
    As well as this overarching agreement there were many agreements in specific areas. I will just mention a few. In agriculture there are agreements to restore Canada as an exporter of beef to China. Also, industrial beef tallow (fat) will now be allowed in. Until now Canada was excluded. China imports about 400 million in tallow each year. China has agreed to purchase more Canadian canola.
    There is agreement as well for collaboration between the two countries on sustainable research. Another welcome move is to collaborate on research to develop and protect National Parks with China's state forestry administration. For much more detail see the entire article. Of course China is very much interested in investing in Canadian resource industries such as the oil sector.

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