By Jackie Guo
I am very excited to be back in Beijing after three years, and this time for a different reason. On behalf of the Greater Halifax Partnership, I join the Council of the Federation (COF) trade mission to China from September 10 to 20 - a delegation of nine premiers and over 100 government, education and business leaders from across Canada.
After a 14 hour flight, we arrived at the Beijing Airport yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful, sunny and humid day in China's capital city. It took about two hours to travel from the airport to the hotel and on the way I saw so many cars and people. Beijing is bustling and so is the rest of the country.
China is the world's largest exporter and second largest importer, representing a fast-growing segment of Canada’s global trading market. It is now Canada’s second largest single-nation trading partner with two-way trade reaching almost $65 billion in 2011.
Canada is well suited to do more business with China. A recent study on the benefits of trade between our two countries found that there is great potential to increase trade in energy, high end manufacturing, natural resources, ocean technologies, environmental services, and education. It concluded that Canada and China should continue to deepen and strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties.
The objective of this trade mission is to do just that. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter is the chair of the COF 2012 and the official spokesperson of this mission. The mission will include stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and representation at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin. A series of political and business meetings have been confirmed, and of course economic cooperation will be high on the agenda.
Stay tuned for the updates.
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Jackie Guo is the Coordinator of International MBA Student Connector Program. In addition to his work at the Partnership, Jackie is an active volunteer for Halifax United Way.