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Alberta Ends Natural Resources Partnership With Chinese Fund

The oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta has ended a partnership with a Chinese private equity fund, which was ready to invest $10 billion in natural resources in the province, a spokesperson for Alberta’s government has told Reuters.

Canada and China have seen their bilateral relations worsen since 2018, when Ottawa arrested Huawei’s executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the U.S. China later arrested two Canadian citizens who were accused of spying. The Canadians were released in 2021, as was the Canadian executive, but the Canada-China relations remain strained.

It was not immediately clear whether the end of the Alberta government’s partnership with Chinese private equity fund Can-China Global Resource Fund (CCGRF), based in Hong Kong, was a direct consequence of the strained relations. Nor was it clear when the government of Canada’s top energy province called off the partnership, Reuters reports.

“This partnership no longer exists,” Karlee Conway, Director of Communications of the Alberta Industrial Heartland, told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Commenting on the end of the partnership, Lynette Ong, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, told Reuters, “I cannot confirm this is directly related to bilateral relations, but it could indeed be a product of the increased tensions between the two countries.”

The fund, CCGRF, completed raising its first phase of equity capital in 2013 with available commitments of $10 billion in subsequent phases from its international investors. The fund “was the result of bilateral discussions between the governments of Canada and China to encourage the establishment of an independent fund to assist with the responsible investment of public and private capital from China into the Canadian natural resources sector,” it says on its website.

The investors in the fund included Canadian mining group Hunter Dickinson, Switzerland-based commodity trading group Mercuria, and China Exim Bank, which is the largest export credit agency globally with more than $200 billion in overseas lending.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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