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Minister of Finance Welcomes Step Forward in Growth of Economic Ties With China

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 10, 2010 — The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today welcomed an agreement with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission that designates Canada as a destination for Chinese insurance wealth management business.

“Under this agreement, Chinese insurance companies will be permitted to invest in Canada, giving Canadian financial markets access to a potential pool of about $106 billion in investment capital,” said Minister Flaherty.

“This agreement demonstrates a great deal of confidence in Canada’s economic prospects and the soundness of Canada’s financial system.”

This is the third agreement reached under China’s Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) program, which allows approved institutional investors in China, including banks, fund management companies and insurance firms, to invest funds pooled from their mainland clients in approved overseas financial markets.

China’s three financial sector regulatory commissions, for banking, insurance and securities, share responsibility for the program.

Previously, the banking and securities commissions had approved Canada as a destination for mainland China investment. Today’s announcement marks the final step in concluding agreements under the QDII program.

Minister Flaherty, who made the designation a key objective of his trip to China in August 2009, said the agreement comes at an ideal time as G20 countries meet to discuss, among other issues, the need to promote trade and investment.

“This also demonstrates to me the value of travelling personally to visit our trading partners to discuss issues of mutual benefit to our countries. For example, several days ago, I attended the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Japan, where we discussed concrete actions to promote economic growth, trade and investment across the Asia-Pacific region. Today’s announcement is just such an action.”

Minister Flaherty hailed Canada’s growing economic partnership with China, noting that China was Canada’s only major trading partner to increase its imports of Canadian goods last year. In the past five years, Canada’s exports to China have surged nearly 55 per cent, and China is now Canada’s second largest merchandise trading partner and its third largest export market.

News source: Department of Finance


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