Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is currently on a visit to China in order to boost cooperation in many key areas between the two countries. The first step towards this goal was made on Tuesday when an agreement was signed between himself and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jinbao, to increase bilateral investment and promote energy exports to China.
"Diversifying our markets is a key priority for Canada," Harper said in his opening remarks to Wen. "We look forward to expanding our cooperation in many important areas, including energy, natural resources, tourism and education."
In truth, trade is already strong between the two countries, reaching almost $50 billion in 2011. The main purpose of the visit is to secure new markets for Canadian oil. The US currently accounts for 97% of Canadian oil exports, but since President Barack Obama rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline Canada has been desperately trying to diversify its energy sales.
Canada holds the third largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, with the current daily production at 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), and expected to increase to 3.7 million bpd by 2025. Chinese state-owned companies have invested more than $16 billion in Canadian energy over the last couple of years in the hope of securing a steady supply of this oil to fuel their expanding economy. Sinopec has even invested in a proposed pipeline to deliver oil from the Alberta oil sands to Canada’s Pacific Coast.
Other agreements have also been signed to promote science and technology cooperation, student exchange programs and natural resource development. In fact Harper spent Wednesday selling Canada as tourist destination for Chinese travellers.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…