Government of Canada strengthens trade relationship with China on ministerial mission

OTTAWA, Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Canada is a trading nation that is focused on growing trade and investment relationships, including diversifying into new and rapidly growing markets in Asia
calendar icon 22 May 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

With a population of 1.4 billion and a growing middle class, pursuing new market opportunities in China is vital to the continued growth of the Canadian economy, and to reaching the Government of Canada's target of increasing global agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Today, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, wrapped up a week-long mission to China, where he promoted Canadian agricultural products and discussed ways of strengthening agricultural trade between the two countries.

Minister MacAulay also met with his counterpart, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han Changfu to advance Canada's agricultural trading relationship with China. The two ministers discussed key trade issues, including agricultural cooperation and biotechnology products. Minister MacAulay advocated for China's approval of three new genetically modified canola traits, which would increase canola exports to China by an estimated $400 million every year, using the same amount of land and inputs - a major increase for canola productivity.

As part of a pilot project agreed to by both countries in 2017, the first Canadian shipment of chilled pork was exported to China this month. Seventeen Canadian federally registered meat establishments are now eligible to export chilled beef derived from cattle under-thirty-months of age and/or chilled pork to China.

The Canadian meat industry estimates the increased export values from this expansion of Canada's meat access to China, could be worth upwards of $100 million for pork and $125 million for beef over the next five years.

Minister MacAulay also attended SIAL China, Asia's largest food innovation exhibition, to show his support for the 47 Canadian exhibitors promoting products to 110,000 SIAL visitors. The Minister also delivered remarks at a reception hosted by Canada Beef.

The mission provided the Minister a number of opportunities to meet with industry representatives, including meeting with senior executives from e-commerce giant Alibaba. The Minister highlighted Alibaba's efforts to expand its presence in Vancouver. He also met with representatives from HeMa and GFresh to obtain a better understanding of market challenges and opportunities for Canadian agricultural products.

"China is an important and growing market, representing Canada's second largest trade partner is agriculture and food. This mission has been a great opportunity to showcase Canada's high-quality food and seafood, and to strengthen our trade ties, which are of vital importance to diversifying markets for our agricultural products and to growing the middle class," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's minister of agriculture and agri-food.

Quick Facts

  • From 2015 to 2017, China's agri-food and seafood imports from Canada increased by 28 percent.
  • In 2017, China imported $8.60 billion worth of agricultural, agri-food and seafood products from Canada.
  • China is Canada's second largest trading partner in agriculture and food.
As reported by the AAFC

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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