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Canada and Mainland China Agree to Deepen Collaboration on Clean Growth, Agriculture

Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna travelled to Beijing and Shanghai in early-to-mid December to advance bi-lateral collaboration efforts on climate change and clean growth. The minister witnessed the historic announcement of the Canada-China Joint Statement on Climate Change and Clean Growth, where Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and mainland Chinese Premier Li committed to champion the transition to a competitive, low-carbon economy and society, recognising that the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand. Minister McKenna also reached an agreement with Xie Zhenhua, mainland China’s special envoy for climate change, and Li Ganjia, mainland China’s minister of environmental protection, to co-operate on issues related to air quality, water, chemicals management and biodiversity.

Additionally, Minister McKenna visited the Shanghai Energy and Environment Exchange to be briefed on its trading platform, carbon planning and carbon asset management. She met with the 16 Canadian clean-tech businesses who were on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s trade mission to develop stronger connections with mainland Chinese companies on clean solutions for clean air, clean water, clean soil and clean energy. The companies explored partnership opportunities with more than 400 mainland Chinese businesses and decision-makers in Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing. At the conclusion of her trip, Minister McKenna presided over the annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high-profile international advisory body to the mainland Chinese government for collaboration and exchange on matters of sustainable development.

Separately, the Canadian government on 7 December summarised its on-going efforts to strengthen agricultural ties with Beijing, including a recent trade mission to mainland China led by Prime Minister Trudeau that secured expanded market access for Canadian pork and beef. Specifically, a pilot project for the exportation to mainland China of Canadian chilled/fresh meat (beef and pork) has been launched and Beijing has approved the importation of frozen bone-in beef from Canada in accordance with a 2016 agreement to work towards expanded market access for Canadian beef products.

As distribution chains and marketing in mainland China for Canadian chilled and frozen meat products are developed, the Canadian meat industry estimates that the increased export values could be upwards of CA$100 million for pork and CA$125 million for beef over the next five years. According to the Canadian government, this expanded access as well as the on-going exploratory discussions towards a comprehensive trade agreement with mainland China will help the government’s twin goals to grow Canada’s agri-food exports to at least CA$75 billion annually by 2025 and double bi-lateral trade with mainland China by 2025.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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