VANCOUVER, May 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that China's Sichuan Airlines will begin a new passenger service between China and Vancouver, beginning in June.
"The new service being offered by Sichuan Airlines will boost tourism, provide more choice for Canadian travellers and have a significant impact on our economy," said Minister Moore. "We welcome Sichuan Airlines to Vancouver and look forward to further building our ties with China."
The new passenger service is made possible by the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement. Sichuan Airlines is headquartered at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, in Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province. The passenger service will start on June 22, 2012, and will be offered three times a week. The service will operate between Chengdu and Vancouver, making a stopover in the North Eastern Chinese city of Shenyang.
Located strategically between Western and Eastern China, Chengdu is one of the most important commercial centres in Western China, home to 14 million people. Chengdu as a manufacturing centre has a market reach of over 200 million consumers. Pillar industries include automotive and aerospace manufacturing, biotech, pharmaceuticals, food processing, metallurgy and building materials, information and communication technology, and petrochemical processing.
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 that are aimed at making it the best transportation network between North America and Asia. To date, the Government of Canada has partnered with all 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.
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Economic relations between Canada and China
China is Canada's second largest individual trading partner, accounting for 7.2 percent of Canada's trade.
Between 2005 and 2010, Canadian merchandise exports to China grew by some 83.4 percent, from $7.2 billion to $13.2 billion. China is Canada's third largest export market after the US and the UK, accounting for 3.3 percent of total Canadian merchandise exports.
China is the second largest source of merchandise imports to Canada after the United States, with imports valued at $44.5 billion in 2010, up 51 percent over 2005.
Two-way investment has increased substantially since 2005, reaching almost $19 billion in 2010, due mainly to increased Chinese direct investment in Canada.
In 2011, two-way trade between Canada and Sichuan Province increased 75 percent reaching 350 million CAD. Canada's main exports include agricultural products, pulp and paper, machinery products and automotive parts.
Overview of Chengdu
As the designated trade and finance centre for southwest China, Chengdu has enjoyed significant growth over the past decade. Chengdu's GDP was USD $82 billion in 2010 (8th overall in China), an increase of 15% over 2009. Sichuan's international trade totaled USD $32 billion, an increase of 35.6% over 2009. Total Foreign Direct Investment also grew by 69.6%, totaling USD $6.12 billion.
More information about Chengdu can be found here: http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/eng/document.jsp?did=96085&cid=512&oid=32
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Transport Canada, Ottawa