Canada and China talk supply chains and trade

by Array

LEIPZIG, Germany: While in Germany to attend the International Transport Forum’s 2012 summit, the federal minister of transport and his Chinese counterpart engaged in talks about Canadian-Chinese trade and supply chain issues.

One of the key issues discussed by Denis Lebel and Feng Zhenglin, the Chinese vice-minister of transport, was the Canada-China Joint Research Program on Advanced Technology Applications and Supply Chain Management.

Over the past two-and-a-half-years, Canadian and Chinese officials and experts have been exchanging technical expertise in three research areas: supply chain management, cold climate technologies, and safety and road infrastructure. In June 2012, Canada will host a Chinese delegation in Vancouver to explore potential future areas of joint research.

“This collaboration has provided a good opportunity for Canada to work closely with China,” said Lebel. “The joint research program has opened dialogue among researchers in both countries and has created direct co-operation. We hope to continue building on the program’s successes.”

Another topic covered was the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Port Services Network (APSN). APSN is an international organization that brings together senior representatives from Asia-Pacific economies, ports and port-related industries. Canada has taken a leading role in the APSN, has held the APSN presidency since the organization was established, and was re-elected to the role for 2012.

Also on the agenda were the ongoing talks about Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI).

One new initiative to emerge from the meeting was an agreement between the two nations to create an action plan that will allow Canada and China to learn from each other’s civil aviation programs and work cooperatively on aviation safety issues.

“I am very pleased with the outcomes of our discussions today and look forward to continuing to build on an already excellent working relationship with China,” said Minister Lebel.

As for the International Transport Forum itself, this year’s findings are entitled “Transport Outlook 2012: Seamless Transport for Greener Growth.”

While looking at ways to create sustainable transportation networks and infrastructure, the report outlined current economic conditions and put forward predictions for the future. On the topic of cargo and international trade, the report concludes:

“Maritime and air cargo transport flows between large trading blocs move in close correlation with the rate of growth of the world economy and global trade, but variations in transport flows are larger than those in trade which in turn are larger than those in output.

“The near term outlook for trade and transport is highly uncertain, more so than for overall output. Uncertainty over the growth of domestic demand is large in the Euro zone and the USA, though prospects are somewhat better in the USA. The evolution of exports is also increasingly uncertain, given signs of weakening growth in some major emerging economies.”