© The Associated Press/The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes part in a toast with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Beijing, Dec. 3
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached agreements with China to facilitate uranium exports and air travel as part of efforts to deepen ties.
Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a pact that will give Canadian uranium producers more access to China's civilian nuclear power industry, according to a joint statement released by Harper's office. Canada is home to the world's largest uranium producer, Cameco Corp. No details of the agreement were provided.
"This agreement will help Canadian uranium companies to substantially increase exports to China, the world's fastest growing market for these products," Harper said in a statement. "It will generate jobs here at home while contributing to the use of clean reliable energy in China."
Harper, who is on a four-day visit to China, is seeking to attract Chinese investment in Canada's natural resources and sell more energy to Asia, while winning business in China for Canadian companies. The two countries announced an investment protection pact Feb. 8.
"I think Canada-China relations are continuing along a very positive route," Harper said after meeting President Hu Jintao yesterday. "We are reaching a new level."
Wen, who met Harper in Beijing on Feb. 8, called for discussions on a possible free trade agreement, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. He said China is "ready to expand imports of energy and resource products from Canada" and boost cooperation in areas including renewable energy and the peaceful use of nuclear power, according to Xinhua.