OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay's trade mission to China is off to a strong start, with industry groups reaching a multitude of new deals in Shanghai and Guangzhou that will boost sales, grow exports to the world's second-largest economy, and create new jobs in Canada.
These efforts will help Canada reach its goals of doubling bilateral trade with China and growing global agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025. Shanghai and Guangzhou are key economic centres, presenting an opportunity for Canadian farmers and processors to increase sales of Canada's high-quality food products.
The marquee event during Minister MacAulay's visit to Shanghai was Food and Hospitality China, the largest food trade show in China specifically targeting international food and beverage suppliers for the Chinese market. Minister MacAulay received a tour of the Canada Pavilion, meeting many of the 82 Canadian exhibitors in attendance. In terms of sales, industry representatives reported some $10.3 million in on-site sales, and $42.7 million in anticipated sales over the next year.
Minister MacAulay also witnessed important signing ceremonies between Canadian company Genesus and Chinese companies Aonong, TQLS, Wens and Wufang while in Guangzhou, worth an industry-estimated $7.2 million.
While supermarkets remain the main distribution channels for packaged food in China, e-commerce sites are increasingly taking over, thanks to a growing middle class and more smartphone and Internet users. Seizing on this trend while in Guangzhou, Minister MacAulay met with VIP.COM, one of the country's top-three developers of e-commerce platforms, and showcased the safe, high-quality Canadian food products available on Chinese e-commerce platforms.
The Minister participated in cooking demonstrations for Chinese stakeholders organized by Canada Beef Inc., the Canola Council of Canada, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), with the latter project supported by the governments of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador as part of pan-Atlantic efforts to grow trade and investment opportunities for Atlantic businesses through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. In Shanghai, Minister MacAulay also helped launch the promotion of "Canada Food Week" at well-known grocery retail chain CitySuper to highlight Canadian food products.
The minister's trade delegation departed Saturday for Beijing, China's capital, for multiple days of promotional events and bilateral meetings.
"China is a priority market for the Government of Canada, and the cities of Guangzhou and Shanghai are the financial and trading hubs of that growing market. By showcasing Canadian products, we are helping Canadian farmers and processors increase their agri-food exports. Achieving this goal will be a boost for Canadian farmers, our economy, and the middle class."
- Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Canada was China's fourth-largest supplier of total agri-food and seafood products in 2016.
- Canada's agri-food and seafood exports to China were valued at C$6.8 billion in 2016. Top exports were canola, soybeans, canola oil, dried peas, and frozen pork.
- In 2016, Canada registered an agri-food and seafood trade surplus of C$5.3 billion with China.
- China has become the world's largest e-commerce market with online retail sales exceeding C$980 billion in 2016 – 39.2 percent of the world total – and is expected to reach C$1.3 trillion by 2019.
- China – At a Glance
- Minister MacAulay sets sights on China with high-profile trade mission to boost food exports
- Investing in New Markets for Canadian Livestock Genetics
- Atlantic Growth Strategy
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Halifax
For further information: Guy Gallant, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972