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    Photos: Luncheon with The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade

    On July 8th, 2016, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and co-host Saimen had the pleasure of hosting The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, for a business luncheon. During the luncheon, The Honourable Chrystia Freeland gave an insightful and positive speech about the future of Canadian-Chinese economic relations. She commented on how these relations are a priority of both herself and Prime Minister Trudeau, and her personal feelings on Chinese business culture, which she praised for being inclusive to women. Also speaking that day were The Ambassador of Canada to The People’s Republic of China Guy Saint-Jacques, Vice Chairman of CanCham Olivier Breault, General Manager at Shanghai Saimen Carl Breau, and Teck Executive Director and General Manager Ralph Lutes. We would like to thank the Canadian business community in Shanghai for their support, as well as the Chinese business leaders in attendance, and our luncheon partners and collaborators. 7月8日,加中商会和上海赛门商务咨询有限公司共同举办了加拿大联邦国际贸易部长克里斯蒂娅•弗里兰阁下的欢迎午宴。席间,弗里兰部长就加中经贸关系的未来发展发表了意义深远的讲话,并表示,联邦政府将在未来促进两国之间经贸方面的合作与沟通,这也是加拿大总理特鲁多和她本人的首要任务之一。弗里兰部长还表示,她十分看好中国的商业文化,尤其对女性在商业中的参与度大为赞赏。 除克里斯蒂娅•弗里兰部长以外,当日致辞的还有加拿大驻中国领事馆大使Guy Saint-Jacques,加中商会董事会副主席Olivier Brault,上海赛门商务咨询有限公司总经理Carl Breau和泰克咨询有限公司董事总经理Ralph Lutes。 借此机会,我们衷心感谢在华加拿大社区和商业团体给予的大力支持、中方企业代表的出席,以及午宴合作方的协助! China, Shanghai, 2016. PHOTO © Patrick Alleyn. China, Shanghai, 2016. PHOTO © Patrick Alleyn. China, Shanghai, 2016. PHOTO © Patrick Alleyn. China, Shanghai, 2016. PHOTO © Patrick Alleyn. Click here to view the rest of the photos. 请点击这里查看更多图片。

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    Trudeau: Canada cheers China

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau applauded his country’s long and constructive relationship with China at The Economist’s 2016 Canada Summit on Wednesday in Toronto. “We have both looked at the economic opportunities through the decades. Canada wants China to succeed on the world stage,” said Trudeau, whose late father Pierre first established diplomatic relations with Beijing 46 years ago when he was prime minister. Justin Trudeau said China was to be congratulated for contributing hundreds of millions of people to the global middle class. “This is a significant achievement,” he said. The prime minister made the comments during an interview by Brooke Unger, Americas editor for The Economist. China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, behind only the US, as two-way merchandise shipments totaled C$78 billion two years ago. About 1.5 million of Canada’s 35 million people are of Chinese descent, with Mandarin the third most-spoken language after English and French. The Liberal government succeeded the Conservative government of Stephen Harper and has sought to improve relations with Beijing. China remembers Pierre Trudeau’s outreach, according to President Xi Jinping, whom the new PM met at the G20 in Turkey last November. Xi called the elder Trudeau a man of extraordinary political vision. News source: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2016-06/09/content_25662024.htm

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    Varcoe: Time to revisit barriers to Chinese investment in oilsands

    Canada’s energy sector needs capital. Alberta wants foreign investment. China has money to spend. It seems like a natural marriage. Yet, in the first three months of the year, one of the biggest sources of foreign investment dropped sharply for the province’s largest industry. The country’s energy sector saw only $400,000 invested by Chinese companies — among deals that closed with approval during the period — falling to its lowest level in six years, says a report by the China Institute at the University of Alberta. Canada’s oilpatch, once a magnet for state-owned enterprises looking for an energy deal, “is now among the least favoured sectors for Chinese investment,” says analysis by the institute. “Energy investment is at a low, there’s no doubt about it,” says Gordon Houlden, director of the institute. “We should be concerned; worry is too strong, but we should be concerned.” Even if there’s no worry, these numbers should serve as a wake-up call for an industry trying to raise capital during a period of low commodity prices, but also for provincial and federal governments struggling to stimulate the economy. It also begs the question of whether the barriers to investment by state-owned enterprises, put in place by the Harper government in late 2012, still make sense. On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Ottawa, where the two pledged to “open up a new golden era” of bilateral relations. There’s room for improvement. The U of A report shows Chinese investment in Canada during the first three months of the year totalled $235 million, down from $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter. The decrease comes even as China is ramping up its foreign spending. With a population of 1.4 billion and the country’s growing economic clout, China remains a massive source of investment; it makes sense for Alberta’s cash-strapped energy sector to be fishing in this pond for capital. It’s also important to note Chinese investment in energy has not dried up completely. The institute’s figures do not include deals announced at the end of 2015 or early 2016 that haven’t closed or received approval under the Investment Canada Act. In late March, Calgary-based Bankers Petroleum Ltd. announced it was acquired by Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp. for $575 million, while Long Run Exploration Ltd. shareholders approved its sale to Sinoenergy Investment Corp. for $100 million and the assumption of $679 million in debt. But this is a far cry from earlier in the decade, when Chinese state-owned enterprises were looking to secure long-life oilsands reserves. An estimated $29 billion in energy deals occurred between 2011 and 2013. The pace of the deal making, however, sparked nervousness over foreign control of Canada’s natural resources, particularly by Chinese state-owned enterprises. The debate intensified with the $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc. by CNOOC Ltd. in December 2012. At the time, the former Conservative government approved the takeover but said future acquisitions in the oilsands by state-owned enterprises would only be approved in “exceptional” circumstances. Since then, the ground has shifted. Commodity prices have tanked. The federal and provincial governments have changed. Thousands of oilpatch jobs have vanished. Chinese investment in Canada’s energy sector fell to $2.4 billion in 2014 and $5.4 billion last year before the first-quarter funk, according to the institute. Aside from the obvious impact of weak oil and gas prices, several other factors have affected China’s energy investment strategy. Houlden, a former diplomat, says the restrictions imposed by Ottawa, past investments performing poorly, corruption issues in China and a lack of pipelines to get Alberta oil to the coast for export are acting as a drag. John Gruetzner, managing director of Intercedent Ltd., a Canadian investment advisory firm focused on Asia, says a correction in China’s economic growth and the improved availability of energy supplies have also “taken the urgency out of acquiring oil.” “The rules put in by the Harper government are having an impact in that they create another area of risk in a deal and also cost of completing a transaction,” he said in an e-mail. But should we care if China spends less in the oilpatch? A poll last year by the institute found only 42 per cent of Albertans think more Chinese investment in energy and resources is welcome. There are long-standing concerns about the country’s human rights record. And China doesn’t allow reciprocal investment in its energy sector. But Canada’s energy industry remains a capital-intensive business, even during these down times. Jackie Forrest, vice-president of energy research at ARC Financial, notes the Canadian energy sector is expected to spend more than $30 billion on capital this year, even as producers only generate an estimated $18.6 billion in cash flow. “In downturns, when it’s harder to get capital to fund the industry, it’s even more important that we’re open to any sources of capital that the industry can get,” she said. Before last year’s federal election, the Liberals indicated they would review and loosen the oilsands investment barrier, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was non-committal when asked about the issue in April. It’s time to re-examine the rules and see if they’re serving Canada’s needs, particularly if this is done as part of a comprehensive free trade arrangement with China. “To me it’s crystal clear that four million Albertans … cannot begin to fund a gigantic oil industry that is super capital intensive in this province,” says Houlden. “We need foreign capital. It’s critical to our Canadian prosperity.” News source: http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/varcoe-time-to-revisit-barriers-to-chinese-investment-in-oilsands

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    Global OConnect Marches into North American Market, Delivering Brand-new ‘Made in China’ Concept

    TORONTO, June 22, 2016 /CNW/ — China’s top B2B cross-border e-commerce service provider Global OConnect will make its first appearance in North America by launching an exhibition warehouse at 342 Wildcat Street Toronto, Canada on June 28, in efforts to bring high-end Chinese manufacturers of the 21st century to local retailers. Established in 2015, Global OConnect is an offline business affiliate of OSell e-commerce platform, a Hong Kong based company which is devoted to being a cutting-edge online communication mediator for global SME businesses. Kevin Fenn, founder and Board Chairman of the company, is fascinated about the idea of “being a bridge between Chinese suppliers in the new era and global retailers”. Through successfully launching warehouses in Russia, the U.A.E., Poland and Vietnam, Mr. Fenn hopes to bring more high-tech-embedded and quality-oriented Chinese brands abroad in order to refresh local consumers’ impressions towards traditional low-end products that were made in China. “The next step for OConnect will be to take highly competitive products overseas to Chinese consumers,” said Mr. Fenn. The idea of constructing such overseas warehouses is to facilitate China’s cross-border e-commerce business by making localized sales and distributions easier. After orders are placed, export enterprises can dispatch goods in bulk directly from the local warehouse. Chinese SME businesses in recent years have gained more traction in cross-border trades, representing 80 percent of total trading volumes. Products have stronger presence at regular households due to lower costs and easier access to local communities. Hence, they represent a better opportunity to introduce new “Made in China” concepts to consumers. Instead of being stuck in the low-cost and labor-intensive manufacturing modes of older generations, Chinese merchandise in the 21st century is more quality- and high-tech-oriented, which will ensure general popularity and trust in local markets. Mr. Fenn believes that OConnect’s inauguration in Canada will no doubt bring closer the two major economies in regards to SME trading. By solving financial, logistical and local access problems for parties on both sides, OConnect serves as the express lane between China-made high-end products and retailers in a larger North American market, which will in turn benefits local consumers with reasonable prices and better products that are nowadays made in China. News source: http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/global-oconnect-marches-into-north-american-market-delivering-brand-new-made-in-china-concept-583952541.html

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    China’s COFCO Agri hiring grain traders, opening Winnipeg office

    Winnipeg | Reuters –– Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Agri is opening a trading office in the Canadian grain hub of Winnipeg, adding to the aggressive expansion of its North American agriculture business. COFCO Agri is hiring three grain traders and an operations manager to expand export and domestic trading, according to the company’s postings on professional networking site LinkedIn. Efforts to reach COFCO spokespeople and the company’s U.S. human resources director for further details were unsuccessful. On its website, the company lists regional trading and asset offices in eight countries, but none in Canada, the world’s largest canola-exporting country and one of the top wheat exporters. COFCO has embarked on an aggressive expansion into international grain trading, having invested over $3 billion to buy Noble Group’s agribusiness and a large stake in Dutch grain trader Nidera. The Noble ag business, Noble Agri Ltd., became COFCO Agri in March, after COFCO paid US$750 million for the 49 per cent of Noble Agri it didn’t already own. COFCO also has an office in Vancouver to conduct market analysis. The company is shopping for deals in the U.S. and Canada to give it access to North America’s grains and oilseeds for export. It is also setting up a U.S. ethanol trading desk, sources told Reuters in May. Several of the largest Canadian grain traders already have head offices in Winnipeg, including Richardson International, Cargill, Paterson Grain and Parrish and Heimbecker. News Source: http://www.albertafarmexpress.ca/daily/chinas-cofco-agri-hiring-grain-traders-opening-winnipeg-office

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    Investment-Trade Roundtable and MOU Signing Between the Province of Zhejiang and the Province of British Columbia

    CanCham supported the Investment-Trade Roundtable and MOU SigningBetween the Province of Zhejiang and the Province of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, on May 6th, 2016. Click here to view photos.

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    Ontario government, businesses net $220 million in latest trade mission to China

    TORONTO—The agri-food and cleantech sectors have emerged as the biggest winners in the Ontario government’s latest trade mission to China. As the province concludes the 11-day business junket, it has announced the mission will bring $220 million in investments to the province, following up on a trade mission to China last November that is expected to bring $2.5 billion to Ontario. “Business missions are about attracting new investment and opening doors for Ontario businesses to expand internationally,” Michael Chan, Ontario’s minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, said. “These doors create new or enhance existing opportunities that may translate into future agreements or partnerships.” Toronto-based geothermal firm Menergy Corp. stuck the largest deal of the mission, signing a $100 million agreement with four Chinese firms to establish a green energy incubator in the GTA. The Green Energy Innovation Centre will help innovative Canadian startups get on their feet as well as help create a market for clean Canadian products in China. Ontario’s food industry also reached a pair of agreements. The province signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. to work toward building new trade and investment opportunities, while Wing On New Group Canada Inc. and Americo International Commodity E-Commerce Warehouse signed a two year $30 million deal that will see Ontario food products reach Chinese consumers. An $80 million commitment to build a commercial development in York Region and a $5 million agreement to help Ontario ice wine reach the Asian market are among several other deals reached over the 11-day trip. A complete list of the agreements reached can be found here. News source: http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/procurement/ontario-government-businesses-net-220-million-in-latest-trade-mission-to-china-167485/

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    Asian growth gives Manulife big first-quarter profit boost

    Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, has reported a 45-per-cent gain in first-quarter profit after benefiting from interest-rate movements and record insurance sales in Asia. Net income was $1.05-billion, up from $723-million in the year-ago period, the Toronto-based company said in a statement Thursday. Profit excluding some items was 44 cents a share, above the 43-cent average of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company recorded a $474-million markets gain, which was driven by the significant narrowing of swap spreads in Canada, gains on the sales of certain bonds and changes in the yield curve, according to spokesman Sean Pasternak. Like other life insurers, Manulife holds debt to back long-term liabilities and relies on the fixed-income market. Market-related gains “more than offset depressed oil and gas prices in the quarter, serving as a useful reminder that markets will fluctuate both in our favour and against us,” chief executive officer Donald Guloien said. The results are a reversal from recent quarters, when Manulife profit was hampered by energy investments suffering from an oil price that has been halved in the past two years. The insurer’s profit slid 62 per cent in the fourth quarter, when it said it may not meet a 2016 target due to investment losses tied to oil and gas and low long-term bond yields. Profit from the sale of insurance products across the insurer’s three regions rallied, jumping 35 per cent to $249-million in Asia, as Singapore and Hong Kong record sales boosted total Asia insurance revenue by 36 per cent. During the quarter, Manulife began distributing products via its bancassurance partnership with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and mainland China. In Canada, profit from insurance rose 52 per cent to $172-million, and was up 3 per cent to $183-million in the United States. Asset management net flows slid 76 per cent to $1.7-billion from the prior year as redemptions increased and amid “challenging market conditions” in Asia and Canada. Core earnings in the insurer’s wealth management operations fell 10 per cent to $38-million in Asia, and 6 per cent to $64-million in the United States. In Canada, profit from the unit rose 30 per cent to $39-million. The company’s stock rose 0.4 per cent to $18.07 at market close in Toronto Wednesday. The shares are down 13 per cent this year. News Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/manulife-posts-45-per-cent-rise-in-profit/article29883130/

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    Canadian tourism industry focuses on growing Chinese market

    MONTREAL – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Destination Canada (DC) on Monday announced a new plan to tap the potential of the growing Chinese market. The Canana-China Tourism Advancement (CCTA) program, announced at Canada’s premier international tourism conference — Rendez-Vous Canada 2016, expands on the Canada-China Inbound Tour Operator Accreditation Program to help all members of Canada’s tourism industry take advantage of growing opportunities in the Chinese marketplace. On June 24, 2010, China and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate outbound tourist group travel from China to Canada. The Canada-China Inbound Tour Operator Accreditation Program has been implemented since May 2010 to fulfill the requirement of the memorandum. Charlotte Bell, TIAC president and CEO, said an average annual growth rate of 24 percent per year generated over $3 billion in revenue. “However, the Chinese market is changing due to the new 10-year multiple visa, the growth of the Free and Independent Travel (FIT) segment, increased air capacity, as well as increased competition. TIAC understands that to truly capitalize on the opportunities, a more coordinated, sophisticated and broader platform needs to be developed,” Bell said. “We are pleased to partner with TIAC to move Canada’s tourism industry from ‘China Ready’ to ‘China Ambitious,’” said David Goldstein, president and CEO of the DC, adding that this program will help tourism operators make Canada Chinese travellers’ number one destination of choice. China’s UnionPay International has joined the CCTA program as a key partner. Pilot projects to be launched in late 2016 include a trade mission to China and an industry bilateral forum with the Shanghai Huangpu Hotel Association hosted in Canada. News Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-04/26/content_24859331.htm

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    Canada will be the Guest of Honour at this year’s Meet in Beijing Arts Festival

    An upcoming cultural festival, which turns 16 this year, will bring together hundreds of Chinese and foreign artists in a melange of music, drama and exhibitions. Chen Nan reports. Among the capital’s largest cultural gigs, Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, has unveiled its 2016 program, comprising more than 100 theater performances and outdoor shows as well as two major exhibitions showing across Beijing from April 25 to May 30. Now in its 16th year, the festival will bring together nearly 400 Chinese artists and more than 400 international artists from 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain and France. Canada will be the guest country of honor at this year’s festival, organizing officials told media last week. Picking a main guest country each year has been the festival’s tradition since it started. This year, the opening show, titled Spring in China and Canada, will be held on April 25 at the National Center for the Performing Arts. It will feature five Canadian arts and cultural groups, including the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Ensemble Caprice Baroque Orchestra and a troupe from Vancouver’s renowned dance school, the Goh Ballet Academy. Chinese conductor Zhang Guoyong will lead the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra and work with the Montreal-based Buzz Brass Quintet. Canadian soprano Katherine Whyte will also join in the show, performing an excerpt from the classic Chinese opera, The White Haired Girl. Mark Rowswell, a well-known Canadian scholar and TV host, who is better known as Dashan among Chinese audiences, was named the image ambassador for the guest of honor event. Rowswell, 50, who is widely known for his mastery in spoken Chinese and performing the traditional Chinese folk art, xiangsheng, or crosstalk, will do a standup comedy show at Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on April 24. For the past three years, he has been preparing for the show and has worked with Chinese standup performers at many venues in Beijing. “I have been learning xiangsheng, the Chinese comedic tradition, for decades. Now, I want to make people laugh in a whole new way by using my experiences in China and mixing it up with the Western standup tradition,” says Rowswell. Besides Canadian artists, troupes and artists from other countries will also share the stage at the festival. Other highlights of the festival include performances by five-time Grammy winner, The Swingles, a London-based group, which has been performing a cappella for more than half a century, Spanish pianist Jose Menor and Caribbean-themed festivals on photography, music, movies and food. Speaking about the festival, Zhang Yu, president of the China Arts and Entertainment Group, the event organizer, says: “In the last five years, the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival has developed into an international event catering to people of all ages. We have presented more than 30,000 artists and 1,000 troupes from 115 countries and regions to more than 4 million Chinese.” Zhang says the goal of the festival is to present world culture to Chinese audiences as well as to show Chinese art to the world. The China Arts and Entertainment Group, which was founded in 1957, is among the country’s first performing arts groups to engage in cultural-exchange programs. Among the other programs at the festival, the National Ballet of China will present Raise the Red Lantern, on April 30 at the NCPA. The show, which has renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou as its artistic director and musician Chen Qigang as its composer, was premiered 15 years ago, and combines Peking Opera and ballet. Feng Ying, the director of the National Ballet of China, says the work is significant when it comes to the promotion and development of Chinese ballet in terms of its visual and aesthetic presentations. The National Ballet of China will also present its latest production, The Crane Whisperer, at the festival. It features principal and prima ballerina Ma Xiaodong and Zhang Jian. To mark the conclusion of last year’s festival, famous Peking Opera performer Zhang Huoding, a master of the Cheng School, which is one of the four top schools for dan (female) roles in Peking Opera, presented two sold-out shows of classic Peking Opera pieces, Reunion in the Dream and The Jewelry Pouch. Last September, she also made her debut at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. This year too, Zhang has been invited to bring the curtains down on the festival by performing another classic Peking Opera piece, The Legend of the White Snake, by working with well-known performers Ye Shaolan, Song Xiaochuan, Zhang Yao and Jin Xiquan. For those interested in music, Chinese folk singer Gong Linna will hold concerts from May 20-22. The shows are her latest projects with her husband, German composer Robert Zollitsch. The couple are known for their contemporary experiments with traditional Chinese instruments and melodies. Audiences will also get to see two theater productions from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. They are An Enemy of the People by Lin Zhaohua from Beijing People’s Art Theater and Waiting for Godot by Taiwan’s Wu Hsing-kuo, both interpreting Western classics from their own angles. Free workshops and masterclasses on ballet, piano and drama will also be held across the city to cater to young children and students during the festival. News source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/safea/2016-04/12/content_24633197.htm