Jul 9, 2018



Host: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF)
Date: 7 May 2018

Description: The APF hosted delegates from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE) and the Consulate-General of the PRC in Vancouver to discuss the upcoming China International Import Export Expo (5-10 Nov. 2018), co-hosted by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government.  

Background: The CIIE affirms China’s advocacy for an expanded global trade system at a time when the US is perceived to be retrenching from its traditional role as leader of the rules-based economic order. The CIIE has already confirmed the attendance of 1,100 companies, including seven Fortune 500 enterprises, from more than 100 countries and regions.

VSIR Thinking Points:

  • Notwithstanding the international “brain gain” and the “diversity dividend” that Canada currently enjoys, Canadian small and medium enterprises (SME) must find ways of expanding their “footprint” in China if they are to remain globally competitive in the 21st century. Preserving the status quo is not a viable strategic or economic option.
  • More than a promotional tour, the meeting provided Chinese delegates with an opportunity to take stock of Canadian views about economic diplomacy in the context of renewed Canada-China diplomatic relations. China’s economic ascendency and rapid urbanization necessitate that Canada establish secure access to the region, in full recognition of the attendant opportunities and risks.       
  • China has spent generations watching and learning from its economic rivals. For Canada, learning how to play in a “bigger sandbox” will be just as important as negotiating a Canada-China free trade agreement (which may take a decade to finalize). To that end, Shanghai’s evolution as a “World City” offers profound lessons about the scale and type of urban governance reforms that Canada may need to consider as part of its “mini-pivot” to China.       

Agenda and Speaker: https://www.asiapacific.ca/events.

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