Business

Canada and China deepen trade ties

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang
Image caption Mr Harper's visit is aimed at selling Canadian energy exports to China

Canada and China have reached government deals in uranium exports and other sectors, as the two countries deepen trade ties.

Canada said on Thursday it would allow the sale of uranium to China for energy generation.

Canadian businesses also signed deals with Chinese enterprises worth $3bn (£1.9bn) in Beijing.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's delegation is on a four-day visit to China.

The trip is aimed at attracting Chinese investment in Canadian natural resources, as well as shifting the focus of energy sales towards Asia.

Uranium sales

Canada is home to one of the largest producers of uranium, Cameco, and the deal announced on Thursday allows it to sell uranium from its Canadian projects into China.

"This agreement will help Canadian uranium companies to substantially increase exports to China, the world's fastest growing market for these products," Mr Harper's office said in a statement.

In 2010, Cameco agreed deals with China to supply more than 29 million pounds of uranium over 15 years.

"We couldn't deliver Canadian uranium here until this agreement was signed so it opened the door for us to do that," said Tim Gitzel, chief executive of Cameco, who is part of the trade delegation.

China is the world's biggest energy user.

Panda conservation

Other sectors were also on the agenda, as Chinese and Canadian companies signed deals in aviation, telecommunications and finance, though not all the details of the agreements were announced.

Canadian companies that signed deals at the fifth Canada-China Business Forum included aircraft and train-maker Bombardier and two telecommunications companies: Telus and Bell Canada.

Another development was the finalisation of a "panda diplomacy" deal.

Zoos in Calgary and Toronto will host a pair of Pandas for a decade for "collaborative research on conservation". The cost and schedule were not announced.

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