(Yicai Global) Dec. 7 -- China and Canada held friendly and in-depth talks on signing a bilateral free trade agreement during Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Beijing. Both sides expressed their willingness to negotiate and sign such a deal, and positive progress has been made, said Gao Feng, spokesperson for China's ministry of commerce, today.
China and Canada have mutually complementary strong economic and trade ties, which offer great prospects for bilateral cooperation, Gao said. During prime minister Justin Trudeau's visit to China, the leaders of the two countries reached consensus on a wide range of issues, including strengthening pragmatic cooperation in economy and trade, promoting free global trade and investment, and achieving mutual benefits and development.
Both sides also made progress in pragmatic areas. The quality inspection authorities of both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on food export and import, Gao noted
With regard to the signing of a bilateral free trade agreement, Gao Feng said that since Sept. 2016 signing a free trade agreement,
China and Canada have made persistent efforts to sign a free trade agreement since September 2016 when both sides announced the beginning of a joint feasibility study and exploratory discussions on such a deal, Gao said, adding the study and discussions on a possible free trade agreement now are basically complete.
China is committed to opening-up and believes that negotiating and signing a free trade agreement will be beneficial to both China and Canada, Gao reiterated. China will continue to work with Canada with a pragmatic and open attitude to advance the construction of China-Canada Free Trade Zone, Gao added.