SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese and Canadian firms signed 56 deals worth more than C$1.2 billion (S$1.24 billion) at a ceremony on Thursday (Sept 1), Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said in Shanghai.
Ms Freeland said that Canada could be a great partner for China but that Canada was "taking our time" over a free trade agreement. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday that both countries had agreed to start feasibility talks on a free trade pact at an early date.
The deals signed on Thursday involve companies in sectors from seafood to clean technologies, the trade minister said ahead of a speech by Mr Trudeau.
A deep and effective economic relationship with China needed to be built consistently, thoughtfully and carefully, Ms Freeland said.
An eleventh-hour deal to delay new, stricter rules on canola imports was a meaningful and important step for Canada, Ms Freeland said.
China is Canada's top export market for the oilseed, and Ottawa has taken a strong line in talks on a new standard, which may raise costs for exporters.
Canada is committed to reaching a long-term and permanent canola deal with China at an early date, Ms Freeland said.