Trade tops agenda of Xi-Trudeau meeting

World Today

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing for more trade with China during his five-day visit. He dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday. Trade was front and center, as a comprehensive trade agreement with China was discussed. CGTN’s Sun Ye reports.

During his meeting with Trudeau, President Xi said that he expects in-depth cooperation in various fields from finance to agriculture, and that China encourages its companies to invest in Canada.

At the same time, Xi also welcomed Canadian engagement in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In turn, Trudeau spoke of bettering trade and economic relations. And trade is indeed at the top of Trudeau’s agenda; he affirmed that when re-stating the goal of his entire trip at a press conference earlier on Tuesday.

“I look forward to exploratory talks on a comprehensive trade agreement with China,” Trudeau stated. “There are unprecedented opportunities for Canadians to either bring into or expand within the Chinese market.”

With uncertainties surrounding NAFTA, hopes are high for such an agreement with China, though Trudeau said there’s no rush.

“But this is not an overnight process. This is a process that has been ongoing over the past two years and will continue, and once we get to the stage of negotiating a trade agreement, that’s going to take years as well,” said Trudeau.

The timeline is no cause for alarm, though, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Monday that bilateral relations are now in a “golden era,” and made a promise regarding the trade talks.

“We will continue to explore the China-Canada free trade agreement and study its feasibility,” said Premier Li. “We are quite open-minded about this, and in other words, China is open to talk on the free trade deal.”

Trudeau will later head to China’s southern city of Guangzhou for the Fortune Global Forum – a star-studded event that gathers business A-Listers from Ma Yun to Tim Cook and carries immense opportunities for trade and economic growth.