Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chinese Investment in Nexen: to Reject or to Accept, That is the Question

The Nexen building is seen in downtown Calgary, Alberta, July 23, 2012. (TODD KOROL/Reuters)

In recent years, trade between China and Canada has maintained a rapid growth. According to Chinese statistics, in 2011, the bilateral trade volume reached 47.45 billion U.S. dollars, with a year-on-year growth of 27.8%. According to the Canadian side, China is the second-largest trading partner (after the United States), the second-largest source of imports and the third largest export market. At the same time, two-way investment between the two countries is booming. As of the end of July this year, Canada's actual investment in China reached US$8,577,000, with investment of Chinese enterprises of all types in Canada over 16 billion U.S. dollars. Canada has become one of the important destinations for Chinese enterprises to invest overseas.

In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail at his Ottawa residence, Mr. Zhang, Beijing's ambassador, said that if Canada wants new broad, investment rules and guarantees that its companies will get greater access to investment and markets in China, it should strike a wide-ranging, “overall” free-trade agreement with Beijing. Rejecting the CNOOC bid could cause the chill of earlier years to return. But Mr. Harper also must deal with domestic political qualms as some Canadians raise concerns about China’s rights record, its intentions, and questions from the business community about whether it would have equal access to China’s economy. Chen dismissed the saying that Beijing plans to control Canadian oil and gas citing that China amounts to only 2% in foreign investment in Canada. Also, there are 12,000 Canadian companies in China dating back from as early as the 1980's including Manulife, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and Bombardier. Chen stressed: It’s really the benefits that matter. But I stress: two-way benefits. Not one-way to China.

Problems tyo Be Solved Regarding the Sino-Canada Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (signed on September 9, 2012):
In the second part, about the national treatment provisions, with reference to the investment chapter of the free trade agreement between China and Peru, the Agreement expressed only made ​​a general description of the existing non-conforming measures not involving entry requirements before national treatment, nor providing a negative list of non-conforming measures. In the fourth part, the "general exceptions" clause provides for the exception of the measures of the cultural industry, the fundamental security interests exceptions and competition law enforcement and information disclosure exceptions, etc., which may involve an equitable consideration. The validity period of the Agreement is made as 15 years.





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