Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (C), along with Canadian Finance Minister Morneau (L) and Canadian International Trade Minister Champagne, launches the China-Canada Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, capital of China, April 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China and Canada on Tuesday launched an economic and financial strategic dialogue in Beijing, pledging expanded cooperation on areas including trade, investment, finance and science to add new impetus to the bilateral strategic partnership.
The dialogue came as Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang held talks with both Canadian Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Stressing that China and Canada are important economies in the Asia-Pacific region and major members of the G20, Wang said it is not only beneficial for both peoples but also conducive to world and regional peace, stability and prosperity that China and Canada cement friendship and enhance cooperation.
He said launching the China-Canada Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue is a consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian leaders. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau made the decision last year that the strategic dialogue would be conducted at the vice-premier level, he added.
China is willing to work with Canada to implement the leaders' consensus, strengthen coordination on strategic bilateral and global economic issues and expand cooperation on trade, investment, finance, science and technology, clean energy, infrastructure and tourism in order to add vitality to bilateral ties, Wang said.
Morneau said Canada and China share extensive common interests on bilateral and global issues. Canada is ready to boost cooperation with China via the dialogue to achieve growth and prosperity, he said.
Champagne said the two countries enjoy great potential in economic and trade cooperation. Canada would like to further promote the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement and expand cooperation in various areas to forge ahead continuous development of bilateral ties, he added.
During Chinese Premier Li's official visit to Canada last September, China expressed willingness to start talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada, making the North American country the first Group of Seven economy China is seeking an FTA with.
China and Canada also aim to double their trade volume by 2025 from the 55.7 billion U.S. dollars recorded in 2015.
Currently, the two countries are holding a second round of exploratory discussions about the FTA in Canada, following the first round of meetings in Beijing in February.