China continues to grow in strategic importance as a trade and innovation partner: it features untapped growth potential from internal integration and is underwriting East Asian regional integration through initiatives such as the One Belt, One Road trade corridor, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. From the cocoon of an aging developing economy, a new China is emerging — young, urban, university-trained and tech savvy. Driven by its singular focus on technological advance, and fueled by heavy research and development (R&D) spending and a rapidly growing R&D workforce, China is becoming an innovation hub. China wants a free trade agreement with Canada; as globalization faces headwinds in Canada’s traditional markets, Canada should seize the offer.
Dan Ciuriak is a CIGI senior fellow. Dan is exploring the interface between Canada’s domestic innovation and international trade and investment, including the development of better metrics to assess the impact of Canada’s trade agreements on innovation outcomes.