Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne (Source: afr.com)
 
Ottawa (VNA) – Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne will tour Asia from May 20-26 to boost trade and investment ties, especially in wood export, with Asian partners, including Vietnam, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

The minister revealed the information at a meeting with leaders of businesses in Ottawa, during which he stressed the need to strengthen partnership with the ASEAN and East Asia.

He held that Asian economies with rapid growth are promising land for Canadian firms as well as offering career opportunities for the middle class.

As scheduled, Champagne will attend the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Vietnam on May 20-21 to bolster its trade relations and engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. During his stay in Vietnam, he will meet some local senior officials and enterprises to discuss the expansion of trade ties with Vietnam, especially in exporting of forestry products.

The Canadian official will visit Singapore from May 22-23 and meet representatives of some key ministries and the construction sector to beef up bilateral trade and investment collaboration, especially in wood export and construction technology.

At the same time, he will also hold a meeting with members of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council and the Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Champagne’s next destination on May 25 will be Seoul in the Republic of Korea where he is scheduled to meet local officials to discuss the increase of export of Canada’s wood and wood products. He will attend a round-table on education and business cooperation at Sookmyung Women’s University.

Japan will be his last destination from May 25-26. He will meet the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His visit to Japan aims to advance Canada’s wood and forest sectors and seek new partnership opportunities for Canadian firms in the Japanese market. Japan is now the Asian second largest importer of Canada’s forestry products.

The Canadian official’s Asian tour takes place after the US decided to apply an average tax rate of 20 percent on Canada’s softwood and pressured its neighbor to re-negotiate articles in the North American Free Trade Agreement.- VNA