Canadian Group To Attend Belt And Road Food Expo In June Amid China-Canada Tension

China Canada flags
Picture of Canadian and Chinese flags taken prior to the meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and China's President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on December 5, 2017, in Beijing. Picture taken December 5, 2017. (Photo: Fred Dufour/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

A business group based in Richmond, Canada has announced that it will send a trade delegation to Hong Kong to attend the second Belt & Road International Food Expo amid political uncertainties.

Following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in January, some business groups in Canada have expressed fears of the future. On the other hand, the North America Investment Association (NAIA) said it will attend the Hong Kong Expo in June.

According to Richmond News, NAIA President, Amy Huang said of the group's plan, "We already have more than 10 companies signed up for the trip - most from Richmond - and we expect to have almost 30 companies in the end."

NAIA's delegation is looking to exhibit some of the most popular Canadian products that have seen solid sales in the country. These products include vitamins, blueberries, icewine, milk powder, and assorted seafood.

A press release from the Canadian group pointed out that the Chinese market is largely interested in services and food from Canada. They added that due to the increased tension between China and Canada, trade has been frozen, thus the need for companies to show effort in expanding to the world's second-largest economy.

Aside from attending the highly-anticipated expo in Hong Kong, NAIA will also hold a trade fair in Southern China. The Canada-Dongguan Trade Fair is expected to showcase services and food products. It will also hold meetings that will discuss further exchange between the city and Canadian businesses.

In this year's Food Expo, NAIA is looking to secure a $3 million contract with the Guangdong Provincial Government after the group took home $1.76 billion MOU during the 2018 conference.

Meanwhile, other business organizations admitted that they are worried about what could happen as China-Canada relations dampen. Still, they are willing to pour more effort into keeping links with the Chinese market.

According to Business in Vancouver, Canada International Trade Promotion Society (CITPS) Chair, Jeannie Cheng, said the association is worried but since businesses within the group have adequate experience and understanding of trade, "stormy periods" will not last long.

Companies that attended last year's food expo in China were looking forward to attending the 2019 conference. These companies include Mozen Fashion Co. Ltd., FurCanada, and Canadian Pacific Algae Inc. Cheng added that the CITPS delegation was able to strike a deal with eager Chinese partners.

Other Canadian associations have yet to confirm their appearance in the upcoming Belt and Road International Food Expo that will run from June 11-13, 2019.

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