Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today witnessed the signing of new joint initiatives and the renewal of existing bilateral initiatives between the two countries in the areas of energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, and agriculture.
“The rapidly increasing commercial, cultural and scholastic ties between our two countries are creating new jobs and economic growth that are benefitting Canadian families, businesses and communities,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The agreements being signed today, in such a wide range of areas, are further testimony that we are taking relations to the next level and further strengthening our strategic partnership.”
More specifically, the two leaders witnessed the signing of:
- A Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Development of Natural Resources that will provide a platform to promote Canadian expertise, technologies and services in that area;
- A renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation that will attract capital investment and improve access to Chinese markets for Canada’s energy resources, technology and related services; and,
- Initiatives on agriculture that clear the way for immediate access to the lucrative Chinese beef tallow market and joint research that aims to create a stable trading environment with China for Canadian canola seed;
- A statement of intent to launch two new calls for proposals for joint research and development projects under the Canada-China Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the announcement of results for a previous call for project proposals;
- A three-year renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding related to the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program that will increase the eligibility criteria for Canadians to study in China; and
- A Memorandum of Understanding on protected areas and parks that will provide a framework for Canada and China to collaborate and share their professional and scientific knowledge and experience in the management of national parks and nature reserves.
The Prime Minister also announced the conclusion of negotiations toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).