OTTAWA – Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is off to China to tell investors there that their prospects in Canada remain strong.
Oliver tells The Canadian Press that he is going to make the point that it is not any harder for companies, including state-owned enterprises, to come into Canada and invest than it was a year ago.
Last week, former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prentice said Chinese investment had all but dried up in Canada’s lucrative oil and gas sector.
Prentice, a former industry minister, cited figures that showed a dramatic drop in the oil and gas sectors as well as mergers and acquisitions from China.
Oliver says he doesn’t dispute Prentice’s numbers, but suggests they may have been skewed by last year’s landmark $15.1-billion acquisition of energy giant Nexen Inc. by China’s CNOOC.
Oliver is one of three cabinet ministers, in addition to Governor General David Johnston, who will be in China this week or next.