Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to play an activist role in promoting Canadian business and investment with a major trade mission to China and India and a keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
It’s all part of a carefully laid-out economic strategy aimed at seeking new trade arrangements in a slumping global economy, with the long-range goal of achieving a pivotal free-trade deal with China.
Mr. Trudeau will first travel to Davos, Switzerland, to speak to the annual gathering of world leaders and wealthy executives on Jan. 21 at a special session entitled “A New Chapter for Canada.”
“It is a big economic opportunity,” said a senior government official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. “People who make the world’s biggest economic decisions will be in that room, and we plan on taking advantage of that to describe our economic strategy, to talk up the country and opportunities for people to invest in it.”
Mr. Trudeau plans to lead a high-level trade mission to China and India, likely in March after he holds bilateral meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington.
The Prime Minister and his top officials have already begun discussions with senior business leaders, including Dominic Barton, managing director of McKinsey & Co., and Montreal’s Desmarais family, which has extensive investments in China through Power Corp.
Peter Harder, president of the Canada China Business Council who also ran Mr. Trudeau’s transition team, is part of the discussions, as well as former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd. The goal is to seek a free-trade agreement with China similar to what Australia negotiated, which will see more than 85 per cent of Australian goods entering China duty-free.
via Globe and Mail