International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced in Vancouver today that he will be leading a six-day trade mission to China next month, from May 18 to 23.

The trade mission is intended to help small and medium-sized Canadian businesses that specialize in soil remediation, water and wastewater treatment expand their technologies into the Chinese market.

"We are focusing our efforts on advancing our commercial interests in priority markets and key sectors to support more businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, win in the global marketplace," Fast said in a prepared speech.

"China is the fastest growing market for sustainable technology in the world and Canada has the knowledge and expertise to address the great environmental challenges they face."

China's Premier Li Keqiang said last month his country would declare a "war on pollution."

"Several decades of rapid industrial development combined with lax or non-existent environmental regulations have given rise to widespread soil contamination," according to information provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

"Heavy polluted water resources, water scarcity and massive public investment in water resources and technologies" drive China's market.

Fast said he would visit three cities – Shanghai, Nanjing, and Guangzhou.

The minister is hoping that at least 25 Canadian businesses will join him on what will be his fifth visit to China as international trade minister.

The trade mission is part of the government's effort to help Canadian businesses expand their exports into China and other growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is part of a wider government initiative, the Global Markets Action Plan, announced by Fast in November, designed to assist Canadian companies as they expand abroad.