|Visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming gives a keynote speech at the business luncheon hosted by Canada China Business Council and Canada China Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 25, 2012. The Canada China Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) was inaugurated in Toronto on Tuesday with visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming and around 300 people from Chinese and Canadian business communities participating in the unveiling ceremony. Based in Toronto, CCCC is a non-profit organization with 112 members, most of which are Chinese companies established in Canada. (Xinhua/Ma Dan)
TORONTO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming on Tuesday put forward proposals for China and Canada to promote two-way trade and investment.
With bilateral trade accounting for merely 1.3 percent of China's foreign trade volume and 5.2 percent of that of Canada, there is much more room for growth, Chen said in his keynote speech at a business luncheon in Toronto.
He called on both sides to work harder to take advantage of untapped potential to further expand and deepen economic and trade cooperation, as it will not only boost the two countries' economy and employment but also lift the confidence in the world economic recovery.
He proposed that the two countries should further strengthen their cooperation mechanism to ensure economic and trade cooperation to grow in a steady and orderly manner.
He also suggested that cooperation at provincial and municipal levels should be enhanced, noting that "province-to-province and city-to-city cooperation is an important part of bilateral economy and trade."
Chen spoke highly of recent economic developments between the two countries, most notably the signing of the China-Canada Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) two weeks ago.
Representing the culmination of 18-year negotiations, the agreement is "a milestone in bilateral economic and trade relationship, which will push two-way investments to greater depth and breadth," he lauded.
Statistics show that China, the world's second largest economy, is the only country among Canada's top 10 export markets that has seen continuous growth over the past three years.
Bilateral trade volume between the two countries neared 47.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up 27.8 percent year-on-year. In the first eight months this year, bilateral trade hit 33.4 billion dollars, up 8.8 percent year on year.