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Special> 30 Years of Reform and Opening Up> Video
UPDATED: December 16, 2008 Web Exclusive
New Chapter in Sino-Canadian Trade Story

I'm confident and convinced that if we've been able to lay down that foundation since our diplomatic relations back in the 1970s, there is no reason why the future can't be more reflective of that. It means having the relationship politically, having a balanced engagement on numerous fronts, and also moving not only just bilaterally but using that partnership by applying it multilaterally. That is to say, whether things that Canada and China can do internationally would benefit the international community.

According to the Canadian-based Global Chinese Press, the organizers of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games have released a business guide in Chinese, which aims to provide opportunities to Chinese traders. Do you see any possible cooperation between the two countries in terms of the service sector during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Shanghai World Expo 2010?

I certainly hope so. In fact, in Shanghai the other day, we launched a new initiative called Shanghai-CCBC Trade and Investment Forum. One of the areas, which we went into great detail with the deputy director of the Expo about, was the opportunities that would flow from the Expo before, during and after for Canadian companies. We had a very good discussion on that. So what we'd hope for is that the linkage between the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Expo and our own Winter Olympics provides not only a wonderful environment for our athletes of the Olympics, both in summer and winter, but also hopefully commercial benefits and opportunities our companies can participate in and Chinese companies can participate in Vancouver.

In August 1999, you were appointed Canadian Ambassador to the WTO, and later elected Chairman of the WTO Geneva Council. How do you see China's performance in fulfilling its WTO commitment?

I was happy to be there in 2001 when China entered the WTO family. My feeling then, as it is today, is that the Chinese have become an instrumental player in the WTO very quickly because of their economy, size and importance, and also because of their approach. They've been very constructive and very much playing to the benefit of the WTO rather than practicing or playing a political agenda. I think they have been a very constructive force; they are one of the leaders; they are looked up to not only by other developing countries but by all countries in Geneva.

When I was the Chairman of the Geneva Council, I would invite ambassadors to talk about an issue or challenge or to test something; I would never do without inviting the ambassador from China, who obviously represented a country that was very important to the ultimate deal-making in the WTO.

You have a first-class ambassador, Sun Zhenyu, who is a very good friend of mine. He was a great choice as your first ambassador. He is good, he knows his job, he is outgoing, he is friendly and he is an extraordinary diplomat of significant knowledge and wisdom.

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