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China and Canada reach consensus on finance, tourism, education

During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit in Canada, both sides discussed cooperation in several areas including finance, tourism, law enforcement and education. New consensus was also reached in economics and trade. China and Canada have agreed to double trade volume by 2025, through accelerating negotiations on a free-trade zone, which will reduce tariffs step by step to zero.

In judicial cooperation, both countries signed a deal concerning restitution of property and sharing confiscated assets. It’s the first specific agreement on foreign negotiations in recovering illegal gains from crime. It strengthens cooperation in combating transnational organized crime, especially corruption and economic crime.

China and Canada also agreed that development of ties is in the interests of both nations, and is beneficial to world peace and stability.

They came from all across Canada. Some, even from China. Business leaders, wanting to see Premier Li, and hoping to hear words of encouragement from the man of the hour.

“China will foster an enabling — and improving — rule-of- law environment, so that investors and businessman from Canada will enjoy just, fair and equal treatment, just like Chinese businesses In addition, we will make our rules transparent in all sectors,” Premier Li said.

It was a guarantee that many Canadian exporters — concerned over issues like intellectual property — were waiting to hear.

“As a leader of China, he is giving Canadians reassurance for their investments in China. But at the same time, he’s also inviting and encouraging Chinese investors to participate in the Canadian economy. These are very large enterprises from China, that have also identified some of the key strengths of Canadian technology that could have very strong applications in China,” said David Fung, vice president of Canada-China Business Council.

Premier Li is the first Chinese premier to visit Canada in more than a decade. Following a day of politics in the capital, Ottawa, he came here, to Montreal, to talk business.

Qiu Yuanping, a high-level diplomat in Beijing, explains why Premier Li specifically sought to address this crowd.

“He wanted to explain to the local business community about China’s economic policy, and to introduce China’s economic situation, and also to strengthen international confidence in China’s economic development. This confidence is very important, both to China’s and to the world’s economy,” she said.

Premier Li’s host this week, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, criticized his predecessors approach to Beijing, and promised his Liberal government would put bilateral ties back on track.

“Our bilateral relationship has general been warm, starting with some great work, done by my dad, which I’m proud of. But over the last decades, relations have been unfocused, inconsistent. Well, my government is committed to changing with. With our Chinese partners, like Premier Li, we’ll bring stability and regularity back to the table,” Justin Trudeau said.