Canada and China have signed a currency deal to boost bilateral trade, allowing direct business between the Canadian dollar and the Chinese renminbi.
Canadian prime minster Stephen Harper announced the agreement alongside Chinese premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Saturday, adding that the agreement would create jobs and economic growth in Canada.
The deal will see a renminbi hub established in Canada, the first offshore hub in North America, that will allow direct trade between the two countries to take place without having to convert to another currency, such as the US dollar.
"It's a great boon for the Canadian business community, both importers and exporters, because they can now do business in China with the currency and not have to go through multiple financial exchange transactions," Stewart Beck, president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, told CBC News. "So the pundits are saying it could double maybe even triple the level of Canadian trade between Canada and China.”
The trip is Harper’s third to China with serveral economic and trade agreements signed, including more than 20 commercial deals; a memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation; updated air travel agreements; and a push to boost exports of Canadian cherries and blueberries to China.
While in the country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum, Harper also met with Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who expressed his interest in importing Canadian cherries into China, and building Canada’s horticultural exports to the People’s Republic.