CANADA AND CHINA STRENGTHEN STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

BEIJING, CHINA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today witnessed the signing of new joint initiatives and the renewal of existing bilateral initiatives between the two countries in the areas of energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, and agriculture.

“The rapidly increasing commercial, cultural and scholastic ties between our two countries are creating new jobs and economic growth that are benefitting Canadian families, businesses and communities,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The agreements being signed today, in such a wide range of areas, are further testimony that we are taking relations to the next level and further strengthening our strategic partnership.”

More specifically, the two leaders witnessed the signing of:

• A Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Development of Natural Resources that will provide a platform to promote Canadian expertise, technologies and services in that area;
• A renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation that will attract capital investment and improve access to Chinese markets for Canada’s energy resources, technology and related services; and,
• Initiatives on agriculture that clear the way for immediate access to the lucrative Chinese beef tallow market and joint research that aims to create a stable trading environment with China for Canadian canola seed;
• A statement of intent to launch two new calls for proposals for joint research and development projects under the Canada-China Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the announcement of results for a previous call for project proposals;
• A three-year renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding related to the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program that will increase the eligibility criteria for Canadians to study in China; and
• A Memorandum of Understanding on protected areas and parks that will provide a framework for Canada and China to collaborate and share their professional and scientific knowledge and experience in the management of national parks and nature reserves.

The Prime Minister also announced the conclusion of negotiations toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).

This document is also available at http://pm.gc.ca

Backgrounder

CANADA-CHINA AGREEMENT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The Government of Canada is committed to collaborating with China on science and technology in order to promote innovation and two-way trade and investment. In support of this commitment, Canada and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Sustainable Development of Natural Resources, which aims to advance science and technology collaboration in this area.

The five-year MOU, which was signed on February 8, 2012 , and is effective immediately, is expected to generate new and improved scientific knowledge and technologies, help address a number of environmental issues and enable trade and investment opportunities for both Canadian and Chinese industries.

It will promote cooperation between Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the CAS in the areas of clean energy, earth sciences and mineral resources.  Collaboration between government, industrial, academic and professional organization representatives will be facilitated under the initiative through collaboration on individual research projects, exchanges of personnel, and the exchange of scientific/technical information and technology.

The MOU supports Canada’s prosperity agenda with China by providing a platform to promote Canadian expertise, technologies and services. The benefit of increased cooperation includes: new technologies for Canadian resource firms; advancing Canada’s research priorities; addressing policy challenges to resource development, such as emissions, reduced environmental impact and natural hazards; and opportunities for Canadian suppliers of equipment and services.

Collaborating with the CAS – China’s national research and development authority – will complement a number of existing government-to-government mechanisms and frameworks, including the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the May 2007 MOU on Cooperation in Earth Sciences, and collaboration between NRCan’s Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and the CAS Institute of Remote Sensing Applications in 1994.

China is Canada’s second largest trading partner and natural resources account for more than half the value of Canadian exports to China.
Backgrounder

CANADA-CHINA MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) ON ENERGY COOPERATION

China has emerged as the largest energy consumer in the world. Growing Chinese energy demand and Chinese overseas energy investments (including Canadian oil and gas) have prompted increased market interest in China as a source of investment, as a partner in technological cooperation, and as a market for Canadian energy goods and services.

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening bilateral ties with China, advancing Canada’s energy interests and contributing to Canada’s long-term economic well-being. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that an agreement on energy cooperation with China had been reached.

The Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation provides a framework to engage China on energy issues. The agreement covers a broad range of energy activities, including energy policy, trade and investment, energy efficiency, oil and gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy, as well as energy research and development. This agreement will increase opportunities to attract capital investment, and improve access to markets for Canada’s energy resources, technology and related services.

The MOU sets a foundation for strategic and technical cooperation, including joint research projects, exchange of expertise and facilitation of workshops, and promotion of cooperation between energy companies in both countries. The agreement also provides a vehicle for liaison with provinces and territories, industrial, academic, professional and other organizations.

The Canada-China Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation is the primary vehicle for implementing cooperation under the MOU. This Working Group is co-chaired by Canada’s Department of Natural Resources and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).  The NEA is the main authority in China responsible for energy policy and operates under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s central government body responsible for economic planning.

This MOU is a continuation of the MOU signed in 2001 and renewed in 2006 and it will allow Canada and China to reinforce and develop cooperation in the field of energy.
Backgrounder

AGRICULTURAL INITIATIVES

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening its important trade and investment relationship with China. To this end, Prime Minister Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today announced two new agreements which will expand Canadian agricultural and agri-food exports to China.

By making way for new and expanded markets, the new agreements will provide hard working Canadian farmers and processors with stable and predictable export opportunities, while creating jobs and economic growth in Canada.

Market Access for Canadian beef and Tallow for Industrial Use

During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Canada in June 2010, Canada and China signed a Cooperative Arrangement committing them to resolving access for Canadian beef, beef products and tallow for industrial use. The Chinese market for both Canadian beef and cattle was closed in May 2003 following Canada’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Following extensive technical negotiations, Canada and China reached an agreement in May 2011 which restored access for Canadian deboned beef derived from animals under thirty months of age.

The new Protocol Between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Quarantine and Health Requirements for Industrial Beef Tallow to be Exported from Canada to China, signed on February 8, 2012, represents the next step of the 2010 Cooperative Arrangement. It stipulates conditions for access of Canadian tallow for industrial use in China and clears the way for the immediate access to the lucrative Chinese beef tallow market by Canadian processors for the first time in almost a decade.

In 2002, Canadian exports of tallow were worth more than $31 million, which made China the top export market for Canadian tallow. In 2010, China imported over $400 million in tallow from countries around the world.

Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Canola Research

China is one of Canada’s most valuable canola export markets. In 2009, China restricted imports of Canadian canola seed due to the presence of blackleg, a fungal disease in canola and rapeseed. While a transitional agreement granted by China in November of the same year allows temporary and limited exports of canola, Canadian and Chinese governments and industry continue to work toward a long-term solution.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Prime Minister Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, allows for Canadian-funded joint research to be conducted in Canada to provide a better understanding of blackleg and assist officials in mitigating the risks to Chinese crops associated with the disease. The MOU, which is effective immediately, is part of an ongoing strategy to achieve a stable trading environment with China for Canadian canola seed.
Backgrounder

CALL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROPOSALS

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting research that improves the lives of Canadians and allows Canadian entrepreneurs to develop new products and introduce them to the marketplace, creating jobs and economic growth and raising Canadians’ standard of living. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today announced the intent to launch two new calls for proposals, valued at $18 million, for joint research and development initiatives under the Canada-China Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation.

The two new calls for proposals, which are expected to be launched in spring 2012, will focus on the development of innovations with high commercial potential in the areas of human vaccines and clean automotive transportation. These areas were identified by the Canada-China Joint Committee on Science and Technology, which is made up of Canadian and Chinese partners from industry, academia and government.

The contribution is shared equally between the two countries, with $9 million from Canadian sources and $9 million from Chinese sources. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, through the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP), will contribute up to $1.5 million to each of the two initiatives, to be matched with equivalent funds from Canadian industry. Additionally, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada will contribute up to $1.5 million to the human vaccines and clean automotive transportation initiatives, respectively. Additional support provided by the National Research Council of Canada and Natural Resources Canada promises to further bolster the initiative by linking it to new and existing programs and resources.

To date, nearly $28 million has been provided through the Canada-China Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation for 21 projects that have significant commercial potential. Some areas being explored include new ways to monitor nuclear power plants, as well as the development of new drugs for AIDS patients, and cleaner pulp and paper plants.

About International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP)

In Canada, ISTPP is delivered by an arms-length, not-for-profit agency, International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

ISTPP provides seed funding to Canadian small-and-medium-sized enterprises, often working in partnership with universities and research organizations, to undertake commercially viable joint research and development projects with partners from China, Brazil, India and Israel.  It was established in 2005 with funding of $20 million over five years. The program was renewed in 2011 with an additional $20 million over five years.  Since 2007, partners have contributed $3 for every $1 invested by the Government of Canada. The program increases the international competitiveness and prosperity of Canada by building stronger science and technology relationships with partner countries.
Backgrounder

RESULTS OF THE THIRD CALL FOR PROPOSALS UNDER THE CANADA-CHINA FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR COOPERATION ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION

The Government of Canada recognizes the role of innovation in stimulating economic growth and supports research and development projects that can lead to job creation and enhanced standards of living for all Canadians. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today announced the results of the third call for joint research and development projects under the Canada-China Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation.

Seven projects, valued at nearly $10 million, will be supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, through the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP), which promotes commercially-focused international research and development cooperation and is delivered by a not-for-profit organization, ISTPCanada. Additional funding will come from partners such as the Government of Alberta.

Project Descriptions

1. A new Urinary Diagnostic Kit for Acute Kidney Injury:  The kit provided a new diagnostics test that enables fast, accurate and cost-effective detection and diagnosis of kidney disease.

Canadian Participants: ATGCell Inc.; University of Alberta; Alberta Innovates
Chinese Participants: Shanghai Alpha Biotechnology Co. Ltd.; Shanghai Changzheng Hospital.

2. An innovative Wind Energy Seawater Desalination System: This wind powered seawater desalination system will facilitate cost-effective and energy-efficient desalination at large-scale water treatment plants.

Canadian Participants: Wenvor Technologies Inc.; University of New Brunswick
Chinese Participants: Jiangsu Academy of Macroeconomic Research

3. Condensing Technology for Recovery and Utilization of Waste Heat from Reheating Furnace Emissions in the Petrochemical Industry: This cost-effective waste heat recovery system helps oil refineries reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 percent and water consumption by up to 90 percent.

Canadian Participants: Thermal Energy International Inc.
Chinese Participants: Cyheat Energy Technology Inc.; Liaoning Shihua University.

4. Nanowire-Based Next Generation Solar Cells: This nanowire technology (about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair) will reduce the cost and increase the accessibility of solar panels, a leading source of renewable energy.

Canadian Participants: Cleanfield Energy; McMaster University
Chinese Participants: Hangzhou Niagra Technology; Zhejiang University

5. A Real-Time Multi-Sensor Tracking Device for operation on any platform and in any environment: This real-time navigation and tracking system for hand-held devices will improve inventory tracking, personnel safety and emergency response.

Canadian Participants: Trusted Positioning Inc.
Chinese Participants: Beijing UniStrong (China); Nanchang University

6. A Blue-Green Algae Blooms Warning System: This new technology will help scientists to assess and prevent toxic blue-green algae from infecting our waters.

Canadian Participants: Noetix Research
Chinese Participants: Changzhou SpatialSmart Technologies

7. Research and Commercialization of the Next Generation Core Technologies for Online Spatial Data Maintenance: These large-scale geographic information systems will improve data accessibility and increases user productivity.

Canadian Participants: MRF Geosystems
Chinese Participants: SuperMap Software Co. Ltd

About International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP)

In Canada, ISTPP is delivered by an arms-length, not-for-profit agency, International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

ISTPP provides seed funding to Canadian small-and-medium-sized enterprises, often working in partnership with universities and research organizations, to undertake commercially viable joint research and development projects with partners from China, Brazil, India and Israel.  It was established in 2005 with funding of $20 million over five years. The program was renewed in 2011 with an additional $20 million over five years.  Since 2007, partners have contributed $3 for every $1 invested by the Government of Canada. The program increases the international competitiveness and prosperity of Canada by building stronger science and technology relationships with partner countries.

 

Backgrounder

CANADA-CHINA SCHOLARS’ EXCHANGE PROGRAM (CCSEP)

The Government of Canada believes international learning opportunities are key to increasing understanding of the world, and to this end, supports a wide array of work/study programs designed to propel students and professionals towards a greater appreciation of different cultural perspectives.

The Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program (CCSEP) is an official exchange program between the Government of Canada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, which is designed to enhance scholars and professionals’ knowledge and understanding of his or her host country’s language, culture, academic and business pursuits. Since its establishment in 1973, more than 900 scholars have participated in the program.

Through the CCSEP, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada provides eight to twelve scholarships annually to Chinese mid-career professionals, while China offers approximately 20 short-term awards to non-degree seeking Canadian university students. The renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will come into effect in the next round of competitions in the fall of 2012, contains modifications to increase the eligibility criteria for Canadians to study in China: in particular, Canadian undergraduate students and mid-career professionals may now apply for the program, along with graduate students and university faculty members who are already currently eligible.

Over the years, education ties between Canada and China have expanded significantly. In 2010, over 60,000 Chinese students studied in Canada, representing close to 28 per cent of our international students and contributing almost $1.9 billion to the Canadian economy. In addition, in 2009, over 16,500 students attended the 49 elementary/secondary schools in China licensed to teach a Canadian curriculum.

There are currently over 475 active agreements between Canadian and Chinese institutions.
Backgrounder

CANADA-CHINA AGREEMENT ON PROTECTED AREAS COOPERATION

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the protection and preservation of Canada’s cultural and natural heritage and to collaborating with its international partners on priority environmental issues of common interest.  In keeping with this commitment, the Government of Canada signed on February 8, 2012, an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on protected areas cooperation with China’s State Forestry Administration, which is responsible for the management of China’s network of nature reserves.

The purpose of the MOU, which is effective immediately, is to provide a framework for Parks Canada and China’s State Forestry Administration to collaborate and share their professional and scientific knowledge and experience in the management of national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas.

Areas of cooperation may include:

• The development and implementation of national parks and nature reserves management, planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
• Ecological restoration, public education, tourism and visitors experience;
• Conservation measures for endangered wild fauna and flora species and their habitat, including species reintroduction;
• Development and management of wetland parks, monitoring and management of wetlands of international importance; and
• Conservation measures for the preservation of forests and wetlands within national parks and nature reserves.

The MOU also recognizes that both the Peoples Republic of China and Canada are parties to a number of international conventions regarding protected areas planning and management.

Parks Canada manages more than 300,000 square kilometres of protected areas in its country-wide network of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Through its world-class expertise in protected area and park management and conservation, Parks Canada provides opportunities for Canadians to learn about and have extraordinary experiences of discovery at these national treasures.