Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make a week-long visit to China this month where he wants to promote Canada as ‘open for business’.
Andrew MacDougall the chief spokesman on Harpers team, commented, “I don't think it's a problem at all to go around the world and say we're open for business, because we are.”
He explained that foreign investors have been a bit unsure of Canada due to the mixed signals that have been given. “There's been a small handful of transactions that have been turned down under the Investment Canada Act,” he said.
The Investment Canada Act states that foreign takeovers of Canadian firms can only be allowed if there is a net benefit to Canada and its people. The term ‘net benefit’ has never been defined, and this has left many would be investors very wary.
The government needs $650 billion in investment over the next decade to develop its energy resources to their full potential, yet realises that with the current ambiguity they will never reach that level. To help, it has promised to release a clear definition of the term ‘net benefit’, along with new guidelines for foreign investment, around the time that it will give its decision on the $15.1 billion takeover bid by CNOOC for Nexen Inc.
Harper is not expected to talk about these foreign investment guidelines on his trip.
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…