Deeper Canada-China ties will create jobs, growth and long-term
prosperity in both countries, Minister says
VANCOUVER, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of
International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, along
with the Honourable Blair Lekstrom, British Columbia's Minister of
Transportation and Infrastructure, Larry Berg, President and CEO of
Vancouver Airport Authority, Liu Fei, Consul General of the People's
Republic of China in Vancouver, and Lan Xinguo, Chairman of Sichuan
Airlines, today celebrated Sichuan Airlines' inaugural passenger flight
from Chengdu, China to Vancouver International Airport.
"Our government welcomes this new passenger service of Sichuan Airlines
to Canada, and we applaud their interest in flying regularly to
Vancouver which will make travel more convenient for tourism travellers
and business," said Minister Fast. "The launch of this service is yet
another testament to the deepening Canada-China partnership - a growing
relationship that is benefiting people in both countries."
This new passenger service is made possible by the current Canada-China
Air Transport Agreement. The Government of Canada issued a Foreign Air
Operator Certificate to Sichuan Airlines on April 3, 2012. Offering
three flights weekly between Chengdu, China and Vancouver, the service
includes a stopover in the North Eastern Chinese city of Shenyang.
"Underpinning the Canada-China partnership are strong people-to-people
ties," added Minister Fast. "As we continue to deepen our trade and
investment ties to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for
workers and families in both countries, these crucial links are helping
us take our relationship to the next level."
More than 1.4 million Chinese-Canadians enrich every aspect of our
country, including in the arts, literature, science, business, politics
and philanthropy. China is also Canada's largest source of
international students with almost 57,000 Chinese students currently
studying at Canadian institutions.
Sichuan Airlines is headquartered at Chengdu Shuangliu International
Airport, in Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province. Located
strategically between Western and Eastern China, Chengdu is one of the
most important commercial centres in Western China, home to 14 million
people who will now be well served by Canada's second busiest airport.
Vancouver International Airport served approximately 17 million
passengers in 2011 and handled more than 258,000 aircraft landings and
take-offs on its runways, connecting people and businesses to more than
100 destinations domestically and worldwide.
Sichuan Airlines recognizes Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway as a vital
portal between Canada and China. This new service reflects the
priorities of the partners in the Asia-Pacific Gateway aimed at making
it the best transportation network between North America and Asia. To
date, the Government of Canada has partnered with all four Western
provinces, as well as with municipalities and the private sector, to
announce strategic infrastructure projects worth over $3.5 billion,
including federal contributions of over $1.4 billion.
As a result of these strategic investments and partnerships, Canadian
exports to the Asia-Pacific region have reached record levels. Fuelled
by a 27 per cent boost in Canadian exports to China, two-way
merchandise trade was $65 billion in 2011. And earlier this year, Prime
Minister Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations toward a
Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China. This
historic agreement will assure investor confidence through stable,
transparent and predictable investment and dispute resolution rules.
More information on Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway can be found at www.pacificgateway.gc.ca.
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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