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Archived - MINISTER EMERSON CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL VISIT TO CHINA

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No. GC 001/08
For release - May 23, 2008

BEIJING - The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, has wrapped up a successful visit to China.

In addition to participating in the official opening of the British Columbia Canada Pavilion with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister Emerson also took steps to strengthen trade and foster transportation-related cooperation with China in the context of Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI).

"The important steps we took this week to advance trade and transportation cooperation with China reflect our commitment to position Canada as China's key North American trade partner, and to promote the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor as the best trading route for Asia," said Minister Emerson. "I am pleased that the Government of Canada is building on a successful working partnership with China on projects related to the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative and that our ongoing dialogue will enhance Canada and North America's future trade relationships."

The Minister was accompanied by a delegation of Canadian business executives, including representatives from the forestry, agriculture/agri-food, manufacturing, mining and chemical sectors, and from railways, port authorities, and freight forwarders.

The visit to China accomplished two key objectives to strengthen the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative:

On May 22, Minister Emerson hosted the Canada-China Trade and Logistics Development Forum. The purpose of this forum was to foster an ongoing dialogue between Canadian and Chinese private sector stakeholders for greater backhaul opportunities between both countries, and to explore opportunities for Canadian industries and manufacturers to meet Chinese demands now and in the future. Seizing the opportunity and making optimal use of marine containers for two-way trade flows would have significant growth potential for both Canada and China. Opportunities identified in this forum will strengthen the overall trade and transportation linkages between China and Canada.

Minister Emerson also met with Ms. Ma Xiuhong, Vice-Minister of China's Ministry of Commerce for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Government of Canada on Cooperation in Infrastructure Development. This MOU promotes two-way exchange of information on areas including investment and engineering opportunities in Canada and China and will benefit both countries.

The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative brings together infrastructure, policy, governance and operational issues in an integrated, multi-modal, public-private strategy to strengthen Canada's competitive position in international commerce with the Asia-Pacific region. To establish Canada's Pacific Gateway as the best transportation network facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia, Canada is exploring new and innovative ways to deepen trade and transportation linkages with emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly with China.

A backgrounder providing more details about Minister Emerson's APGCI-related activities in China is attached.

For more information about Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative visit www.apgci.gc.ca.

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Contacts:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade and
Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000

Media Relations
Transport Canada
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.


BACKGROUNDER

ASIA-PACIFIC GATEWAY AND CORRIDOR INITIATIVE (APGCI) EVENTS MAY 22, 2008, IN BEIJING, CHINA

Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) brings together infrastructure, policy, governance and operational issues in an integrated, multi-modal, public-private strategy to strengthen Canada's competitive position in international commerce with the Asia-Pacific region.

To establish the APGCI as the best transportation network facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia, the Government of Canada is acting to further develop trade and transportation linkages with emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly with China. On May 22, 2008, Canada and China took several steps to strengthen trade and foster transportation related cooperation in the context of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.

Canada-China Trade and Logistics Development Forum

Maximizing trade flows in both directions between Canada and China is a priority under the APGCI. China's projected growth and increased demand for goods represents important opportunities for both countries to expand trade and investment ties.

Seizing the opportunity and optimizing container flows would have significant growth potential for both countries. As Chinese exports to Canada continue to grow, an increase in the volume of backhaul container traffic would mean greater efficiency and productivity in the use of containers, as well as provide Canadian industries with improved access to the Chinese markets.

Transport Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade organized the Canada-China Trade and Logistics Development Forum to foster an ongoing dialogue between private sector stakeholders, for greater backhaul opportunities for the Canadian exporters, and trade opportunities for the Chinese industry. It also connected Canadian exporters with Chinese market needs. Representatives from the agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, mining and chemicals sectors, as well as the APGCI major ports and railways and freight forwarders, discussed intermodal systems and container movements, logistics systems of both countries, trade and shipping trends, and specific strengths and opportunities in the key sectors. Over the long-term, these discussions will contribute to advancing commercial opportunities, and strengthen the overall trade and transportation linkages between Canada and China.

Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Infrastructure Development

On May 22, 2008, Minister Emerson and Ms. Ma Xiuhong, Vice-Minister of China's Ministry of Commerce signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Government of Canada on Cooperation in Infrastructure Development.

The MOU focuses on two-way exchange of information on investment and engineering opportunities in Canada and China and looks to facilitate opportunities for cooperation between Chinese and Canadian firms in third country infrastructure projects. The Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is the stimulus for this MOU; activities under this MOU will be focused on contributing to the efficiency and sustainability of the gateway and corridor on both sides of the Pacific.

May 2008


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