The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong proudly hosted Mr. Simon Kennedy, Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade for a presentation on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. He highlighted Canada’s new Global Markets Action Plan and its relevance for Hong Kong and Asia, and underscored Canada’s ongoing interest in expanding trade and investment ties with Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Elaborating on initiatives targeted toward deepening Canada’s relationship with the Asia-Pacific region, the Deputy Minister made reference to Canada’s ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations with S Korea, Japan, India, and Thailand, as well as Canada’s participation within the Transpacific Partnership. With Canadian merchandise exports surpassing CAD$3.5 billion to Hong Kong in 2012, and up by 92% in the first ten months of 2013 making Hong Kong Canada’s 6th largest export market globally, Hong Kong is an important market for Canadian exporters. In this regard, Canada is proactively deepening trade and cultural exchanges with Hong Kong, including with the recently implemented Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (2013). Canada has plans to open several new trade offices in Mainland China in the coming year which will further support Canadian firms in the Greater China region.
Following his presentation, the floor was opened up to the audience for a session moderated by Mr. Andrew Work of The Harbour Times. Discussions covered a variety of topics including including how best to measure results of trade agreements and encourage their use by Canadian business; the role of reciprocity in Canada’s investment relationships; the impact of the Canada-EU CETA; and pipeline development in Canada. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is proud to have provided members with the forum to voice questions to Mr. Kennedy and to have the great pleasure of hosting such a dynamic individual.