Canadian Minister Voices Strong Support for China's WTO Accession

The Canadian Minister of International Trade Pierre Pettigrew said here Sunday that Canada actively supports China joining WTO at an early date and will continue to make efforts for that end.

Pettigrew, who is here with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien on an official visit to China, made the remarks to China' s Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) Shi Guangsheng during an hour-long talk.

Accompanying the Canadian prime minister is a huge 500-strong delegation of entrepreneurs. Pettigrew said Canada is keen to expand trade and economic relations with China in various areas.

Shi said China thanks the Canadian Government for its strong support for China's accession to the WTO. He stressed that China hopes, through the joint efforts of all relevant parties, to conclude the multilateral negotiations and join the WTO as soon as possible.

"China's earlier accession into the WTO will benefit not only China itself, but also all other members of the WTO," said the minister.

China and Canada signed their bilateral agreement concerning China's entry into the WTO last year.

The country is still to conclude multilateral negotiations in Geneva to pave the way for its full membership.

Two-way trade between China and Canada set a record high last year, with the trade volume hitting US$6.91 billion, up 44.9 percent. China's exports to Canada grew 29.8 percent to US$3.16 billion, and its imports from Canada surged 60.7 percent to US$3.75 billion. MOFTEC figures also show that there are 4,752 Canadian invested companies in China, with total investment worth US$2.33 billion in real terms.

(Xinhua 02/11/2001)

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