(Bloomberg) Ed Fast, Canada’s international trade minister, comments on the trade relationship between Canada and China, along with his country’s drive to export oil and gas to Asia. He spoke to Bloomberg today in Hong Kong, before traveling to China tomorrow to meet that nation’s new leaders.
China’s exports to Canada rose 4.3 percent in the first quarter of this year while imports from Canada jumped 9.3 percent, according to China’s official data.
Canada’s government has approved twice as much liquefied natural gas export capacity as the U.S., and an LNG shipping terminal is under construction.
On bilateral trade:
“Over the last 10 years, that trade had tripled. Over the last two years, we’ve got from $60 billion bilateral trade to $70 billion at the time when the world economy has been struggling, yet the Canada-China relationship has been strengthening. If you look at what happened in the last 10 year in the Canada-China economic relationship, it’s been dramatic growth. My guess it’s not going to slow down.
“I am not concerned about China’s trade data. Canada keeps its own data, which is very accurate, and that data clearly shows that our bilateral trade relationship continues to grow very significantly, represents great opportunity for us to grow that in the future.”
On Canada’s Drive to Export Energy to Asia:
“Right now, we export very little oil and gas to the Asian market. I am hoping in the next four, five years, at the very least we’ll be able to start shipping natural gas to the Asia Pacific. We know the demand for energy in Asia is going to grow dramatically, especially as China develops.
“There is a significant amount of foreign investment including from China, Japan and Korea that is going into these projects. Clearly, the Asia-Pacific region is looking into Canada for energy security and for future opportunities for trade and investment.”
On Talks about Japan’s Joining Trans-Pacific Partnership:
“Canada and Japan are still engaged in technical consultations.”
On Potential Chicken Exports Amid Avian Flu Outbreak:
“Canadians never like to take advantages of the misery of other people. However, if in fact, there’s an opportunity for Canada to supply chickens and chicken products, obviously we’d like to take advantage of that. Our chicken quality is the best of the world, and certainly if there’s a demand for chicken from Canada, we’d love to take that.”
By Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong (c) 2013 bloomberg