PM Trudeau attends the 6th China-Canada Business Forum and Luncheon with Premier Li Keqiang
Hello, my friends. I am very happy to see so many familiar faces here this afternoon for this important event. And especially to see you all here together in my home, Montréal.
It’s a pleasure for me to be here alongside Premier Couillard and someone I’ve seen quite a lot of recently, your friend and mine, Premier Li. As you know, we’ve had the privilege of hosting the Premier in Canada for a few days. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to return the warm welcome that he and his colleagues extended to us just a few weeks ago in China.
I was fortunate enough to spend over a week in China with my wife and daughter, as well as with our Canadian delegation for an official visit and the G20 Summit. And while there, I actually addressed the Canada-China Business Council in Shanghai. So let me just say that it’s great to see so many of you in the audience once again.
When I met with Premier Li in Beijing, we talked about the importance of renewing the relationship between our two countries, and we know that the best way to do that is to stay engaged in open, honest dialogue about things that matter. And I’m so pleased that the Premier was able to come to Canada so soon after our initial meeting.
I believe in making good on our promises, and the promise to maintain communication for the benefit of both of our peoples is of paramount importance because, as the Premier and I fully agree, the first step in getting things done for the middle class and those working hard to join it, is to build a partnership grounded in trust and stability.
You know, the discussions between our two countries lately have centred on the idea that the economic potential between us is vast and that we’d be doing a great disservice to our people if we didn’t tap into it. Our bilateral relationship has generally been warm, starting with some great work done by my dad that I’m particularly proud of. But over the last decade, relations have been unfocused, inconsistent. Well, my government is committed to changing that. With our Chinese partners like Premier Li, we’ll bring stability and regularity back to the table.
Just yesterday, the Premier and I announced some exciting new initiatives that will help grow our economies and help people get ahead.
First off, we decided to initiate exploratory discussions towards a potential free trade agreement between Canada and China. That’s good news for us, especially given our goal to double bilateral trade by 2020… 2025. With that new objective, and with the signing of major trade agreements, we can help Canadian workers and entrepreneurs by opening up new markets and creating jobs.
And we also had some excellent news to give to Canadian farmers. We have arrived at a stable and predictable agreement on canola trade, and we will be resuming boneless beef exports to China. These measures will help Canadian agricultural producers to get their… product to market while growing and strengthening local economies.
Our progress on these files and others is a great example of how, by working together, countries can solve important challenges for the benefit of their citizens. This last month of strong, collaborative engagement represents a new era in the China-Canada relationship and I’m excited to develop and maintain a real partnership that will benefit all of our peoples for generations to come.
Thank you once again for inviting me to be here with you today. I’m now pleased to invite up Premier Li to share a few words with you.
Thank you very much.