Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the conclusion of his second official visit to China
Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. I’d like to begin by thanking our hosts, President Xi and Premier Li, for the warm welcome they’ve extended to the entire Canadian delegation. And of course many thanks to the people of Guangzhou for their hospitality.
This trip marked my second official visit to China, a positive step towards a strengthened partnership between our two countries that will benefit families on both sides of the Pacific. We’ve made a lot of progress on a number of issues over the course of this trip, namely with regard to trade, climate change and people to people ties. On the first day of our visit I met with Premier Li to discuss issues of mutual interest. We agreed to continuing exploratory discussions for a comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and China that will create jobs and new opportunities for middle class Canadians to succeed.
China is already a top destination for Canadian exports but as I mentioned earlier this week, the economic potential between Canada and China remains largely untapped. The Chinese market will soon be the largest in the world. With over one billion potential customers for Canadian goods and services, a skilled workforce and innovative businesses, Canadians stand to benefit from a strengthened partnership with China.
A potential trade agreement would open new markets for businesses to grow and enable investment to flourish on both sides of the Pacific, something I spoke about in greater detail and as part of the Fortune Global Conference.
On that note, I had the chance to hear directly from Canadian business leaders yesterday who shared their insights and their experiences with me. As we look to increase our partnership we will be listening to and consulting with the Canadian business community whose expertise is invaluable.
We know that done right, trade agreements are not only good for businesses but for people. Increased trade with China has the potential to create good, well-paying jobs for hard-working folks, jobs that put more money in the pockets of middle class families so parents can buy winter clothes for their kids and save for retirement.
As with all of our partners, our discussions took place against the backdrop of our strong commitment to building an economy that works for everyone and is in line with our values. That’s why we will continue to advocate for progressive trade deals that reflect our priorities.
Something that came out of our discussions this week is our shared understanding that the environment and the economy must go hand in hand. To that effect we issued a joint statement earlier this week outlining how Canada and China will work together to tackle climate change. We find ourselves uniquely positioned to take action on climate on a bilateral basis and through international institutions.
Make no mistake. China and Canada can and must lead the way on this front. The statement is a testament to our shared commitment to a cleaner, greener future for all of our children and grandchildren.
Finally, our visit was a prime opportunity to build on our already strong people to people ties. Indeed, China and Canada are not only strong partners but close friends. For decades, Canadians of Chinese descent have enriched our national fabric and made Canada an even better place to call home. China is a popular destination for Canadian students, entrepreneurs and students. All signs point to closer ties between our people, ties we hope will be made even stronger in 2018 with the official Canada - China year of tourism. We hope that families will seize this unprecedented opportunity to discover the culture and natural beauty of our respective countries and experience everything that our communities have to offer.
Overall, our second visit has been a productive one and we are pleased with the progress we’ve made to strengthen our relationship and deepen our partnership. In addition to matters pertaining to trade, climate and people to people ties, our team has also had the chance to discuss other issues of particular interest such as education and agricultural exports. As we prepare to head back home, we’re optimistic about the future of our relationship and confident that continued partnership will help Canadian businesses and citizens get ahead.