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Archived - Canada meets with Chinese representative at the International Transport Forum's 2012 summit

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No. H040/12
For release - May 3, 2012

OTTAWA — The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, met today with Mr. Feng Zhenglin, China’s Vice-Minister of Transport, at the International Transport Forum’s 2012 summit.

“I am very pleased with the outcomes of our discussions today and look forward to continuing to build on an already excellent working relationship with China,” said Minister Lebel.

Discussions included Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI). China is a priority trade market for Canada and has been a key partner of the APGCI since its inception in 2006. By providing a system-wide focus on the transportation network that connects Asia with North America, the gateway initiative strengthens ties across all modes within Transport Canada and with a number of other ministries in China.

Gateway cooperation between Canada and China has resulted in mechanisms for the formal exchange of information, best practices, collaborative research, as well as other initiatives. Work is ongoing to deepen these relationships and increase trade and investment opportunities between our countries.

For instance, Minister Lebel and Vice-Minister Feng discussed the Canada-China Joint Research Program on Advanced Technology Applications and Supply Chain Management. Over the past two and a half years, Canadian and Chinese officials and experts have exchanged technical expertise in three research areas: supply chain management, cold climate technologies, and safety and road infrastructure. In June 2012, Canada will host a Chinese delegation in Vancouver to explore potential future areas of joint research.

“This collaboration has provided a good opportunity for Canada to work closely with China,” said Minister Lebel. “The joint research program has opened dialogue among researchers in both countries and has created direct cooperation. We hope to continue building on the program’s successes.” 

Additionally, Minister Lebel and Vice-Minister Feng took time to talk about the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Port Services Network (APSN), an international organization that brings together senior representatives from Asia-Pacific economies, ports and port-related industries. At the request of China, Canada has taken a leading role in the APSN and has held the presidency since the organization was established.

“China has shown great leadership in developing the APEC Port Services Network,” said Minister Lebel. “Canada is honoured to have been re-elected to the APSN presidency for 2012.”

Furthermore, Minister Lebel and Vice-Minister Feng discussed the development of an action plan that will allow Canada and China to learn from each other’s civil aviation programs and work cooperatively on aviation safety issues. This follows on Prime Minister Harper’s visit to China in February 2012, when he and Premier Wen Jiabao committed to strengthening collaboration on civil aviation.

The International Transport Forum’s annual summit brings together 53 countries and over 800 participants, including transportation ministers, experts, researchers, business leaders and members of the international media. It aims to find solutions to global transport-related issues and foster a deeper understanding of the integral role transportation plays in the world economy. The broad range of participants makes the forum unique among multilateral organizations.

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Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Click here for details of Minister Lebel’s media availability at the conclusion of the summit.

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