The event, hosted by Alibaba, brought together Canadian small businesses to learn how to better access the growing Chinese market
Canada and China enjoy strong and deep people-to-people and business-to-business ties, and there is tremendous opportunity for further growth. This was the message delivered by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, during her introduction of the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, at Gateway ’17.
Gateway ’17, a business fair hosted by Alibaba, brought together Canadian small businesses to encourage them to expand into the Chinese market, particularly using the Alibaba platform. Alibaba is the largest online retailer in the world.
During her remarks, Minister Chagger spoke about the Government of Canada’s commitment to building stronger ties with China, especially through increased tourism during the Canada-China Year of Tourism in 2018 and for years to come.
The Minister also commended Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, for organizing the She-ERA Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship in Hangzhou, China, this past July. Minister Chagger represented the Government at the conference, and in her keynote address, she emphasized Canada’s continued commitment to promoting equality through empowering women entrepreneurs. The conference, which also featured a video from Prime Minister Trudeau, was an impressive discussion about the valuable contribution women are making to business and the work that still remains to achieve full equality.
“Canada and China have strong ties, built on mutual cooperation and deep family connections. Events like Gateway ’17 are a great way to encourage Canadian SMEs to take full advantage of the potential market that China’s growing middle class represents. I wish all of the SMEs at Gateway ’17 tremendous success in the years to come, and I commend Alibaba for hosting this impressive event. As we approach the Canada-China Year of Tourism in 2018, I look forward to seeing our tourism operators welcome a record number of Chinese tourists and show them why Canada is a great place to visit.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism
- Gateway ’17 aims to increase Canadian SME awareness of how to conduct business in China, while highlighting the demand for Canadian products in the Chinese market.
- Prime Minister Trudeau was a keynote speaker at the conference, which also featured Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group; Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group; as well as a number of Canadian success stories such as Michele Romanow, a star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den and Co-Founder of Clearbanc; Husayn Remtulla, President and CEO of Viva Naturals; and, Laurent Potdevin, CEO of lululemon athletica.
- China plays a central role in Canada’s Tourism Vision, which includes a commitment from the Government to double the number of Chinese visitors by 2021.
- China is currently Canada’s third largest tourism source market and is projected to soon become the second largest.
- In 2016, Canada welcomed more than 610,100 Chinese visitors, up 23.6% over 2015.
- China is Canada’s second largest trading partner. In 2015, the two countries conducted more than $85 billion worth of trade.
- Alibaba is China’s biggest online commerce company.