Minister Lebel promotes aviation and trade cooperation in China

OTTAWA, Nov. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, was in Zhuhai, China, today and in Hong Kong, China, yesterday to meet with his counterparts and further Canada-Asia transportation and trade relations.

"Canada is a world leader in civil aviation, and our aerospace companies are among the most sophisticated in the world. Airshow China in Zhuhai is an excellent venue to showcase Canadian know-how and expertise," said Minister Lebel.

Transport Canada is continuously working with its international partners to advance worldwide aviation safety. To this end, Minister Lebel and Xia Xinghua, Vice Administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, today signed an action plan that opens the door to closer cooperation on aviation safety. Following on Prime Minister Harper's visit to China in February 2012, when he and Premier Wen Jiabao committed to strengthening collaboration on civil aviation, the action plan is a concrete step towards closer engagement and information sharing in many areas, including regulatory programs and training standards.

During the meeting, the Minister and Vice-Administrator Xia also signed amendments to the existing bilateral air transport agreement to facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two countries. The expanded air transport agreement, negotiated under Canada's Blue Sky policy, will help deepen Canada's important air transport, trade and investment relationships with China. It provides both countries with additional flexibility for airline routings and pricing, and allows them to respond to market developments.

During his participation in Airshow China 2012, Minister Lebel attended the opening ceremony, met Canadian exhibitors, and held discussions with senior executives from Chinese aviation companies.

In Hong Kong, Minister Lebel met with his counterpart, as well as with Mr. Gerry Lim, CEO of Hutchison Port Holdings and Managing Director of Hong Kong International Terminal, to promote Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway. Minister Lebel later addressed the Canadian and Hong Kong transportation business communities on trade and logistics.

"China is Canada's second-largest two-way trading partner," said Minister Lebel. "Canada has a secure, reliable, first-class transportation system that is capable and ready to facilitate increased international trade with China and the region, which will in turn help support job creation and economic growth for Canada." 

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities,
and Minister of the Economic Development Agency
of Canada for the Regions of Quebec,
Ottawa 613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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