OTTAWA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- "I'm always looking forward to my visits to China. This is my sixth time that I will be visiting China in my term of being the premier of this great province," Canada's Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told Xinhua Wednesday.
China now ranks as Nova Scotia province's second-largest export market. McNeil will go to China next month. He was elected as premier of Nova Scotia in October 2013.
Highly upbeat about the fast-growing trade between the province and China, McNeil said: "China is now our second largest trading partner. We want to continue to build on this relationship that we believe is beneficial to both China and Nova Scotia and Canada."
"As I continue on in the mission this November, I look to the meetings that I will have with government officials and businesses in China to build on the relationship that has been so successful," he said.
McNeil stressed that the China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be a great opportunity to continue to promote Nova Scocia's products in China.
The CIIE, China's first-ever fair of this kind scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, is China's latest move to promote trade liberalization and further open up its market.
Canadian exporters are hoping to draw more potential buyers via the expo. A delegation of more than 600 Canadian federal ministers, provincial premiers and business people will attend the CIIE.
Nova Scotia is a trading province. Canada is a trading country. McNeil said his government is hoping to continue to strengthen its relationship with China.
"You (China) are our second largest trading partner. This expo will give us the opportunity to continue to promote the high-quality seafood, especially our Nova Scotia lobster and sea cucumber, as well as to promote the post secondary institutions that we have here that we believe are leaders around the world," he said.
McNeil said he was "always astounded at the fact that since 2012 Nova Scotia's exports into China have grown by 300 percent."
The province's sea cucumber and lobster exported to China hit 382 million Canadian dollars (about 291 million U.S. dollars) in 2017 alone, making it the largest export product from the province into China.
McNeil said there are many more opportunities for Nova Scotia to continue enhancing its relationship with China, particularly on the tourism side.
"I'm excited about the possibility of getting a direct flight from China into Nova Scotia. So I'm looking forward to seeing you all in November," added the premier of Nova Scotia.
The Canadian delegation to the CIIE is one of the largest from Europe and America, a clear sign of the great importance Canada attaches to the expo.
China-Canada relations enjoy a solid foundation and bright prospects. The two countries, though at different stages of development, are highly complementary and hence natural partners of cooperation.
The bilateral trade volume, which hit 72.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, rose to 49.87 billion dollars in the first eight months of 2018, among which China's imports from Canada jumped 8.6 percent to 12.65 billion dollars, according to the Chinese embassy in Canada.