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Toronto to get Chinese currency trading hub

The deal will allow Canadian businesses to trade directly with China in Chinese currency.

By Ed Adamczyk
Toronto to get Chinese currency trading hub
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

OTTAWA, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The announcement of a Chinese currency trading hub, to be established in Toronto, will be made this weekend, marking a reversal of Canadian-Chinese relations.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to make the announcement in Beijing, when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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Sources have suggested the two countries have struck a deal on the currency trading mechanism, the Canadian news website The National Post said. It will allow Canadian firms to do business directly with Chinese businesses in Chinese currency, the renminbi, without first converting Canadian dollars to U. S. dollars. A change in the procedure could save Canadian businesses billions in transaction fees, and provide confidence and transparency to Canadian companies eager to do business in China.

The plan must be approved by the governments and central banks of both countries.

The deal would mark a departure from 2007, when then-Chinese Commerce Secretary Bo Xilai said the relationship between China and Canada had "moved backward under Harper." Harper's insistence that discussion of human rights issues be a part of relations between the two countries left the Chinese government angry. A 2009 visit to China by Harper included trade concessions and a statement from both governments acknowledging "distinct points of view" on human rights. A visit to Canada in 2010 by then-President Hu Jintao saw the signing of a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

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