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Closer Ties Boost Sino-Canadian Trade

Sino-Canadian relations have maintained a strong momentum and benefited both nations, Premier Wen Jiabao told his Canadian counterpart Jean Chretien yesterday in Beijing.

During the past 10 years, bilateral political ties have strengthened, Wen said. Over the same period, the volume of bilateral trade has tripled.

"Practice has proven that Sino-Canadian relations can develop steadily as long as the two nations treat each other with mutual respect, seeking common development while acknowledging differences," Wen said.

Chretien said Canada is satisfied with the growing friendship between the two peoples and hopes bilateral trade will double by 2010.

Statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China indicate that China's trade volume with Canada in the first eight months of 2003 was US$5.18 billion, up 6.7 percent year-on-year.

Wen suggested the two nations continue high-level exchanges and strengthen current consultation mechanisms in politics and economics.

The two countries should also seek more partnerships in energy, environmental protection, telecommunications, insurance and agriculture.

After their meeting, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony for a joint statement on strengthening dialogue and co-operation on climate change. A memorandum on a scholar exchange programme and a letter of intent on infant and women's health, legal co-operation and agricultural development were also signed.

Chretien then met with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC). He said Canada would like to work with China on its staging of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Canadian prime minister will also meet Jiang Zemin, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and members of the Canada-China Business Council during his four-day official visit, which ends tomorrow.

(China Daily October 23, 2003)

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