Canada Approves Foreign Bids for Energy Companies reports SL Info
Some concerns loom over foreign influence in Canadian business
Despite the approval, the country states it will block all attempts by foreign state-owned firms and companies to buy oil sands henceforth.
Canada also approved a $5.2 billion bid by a Malaysian Firm (Petronas) for energy firm Progress Energy Corp. The federal Industry Ministry took into account both accepted bids to see if the amount would benefit Canada in the net totals.
The CNOOC gave a highly controversial bid as far as Canadians saw it, raising rare discord within the Conservative Party, which currently wields the most political capital in the country. Certain legislators outright opposed the concept of a foreign state-owned enterprise of making bids. The opponents noted that China was most contentious in their eyes.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had stated that the two approvals, which were announced Friday, marked the end of an era that saw right-of-center pro-business conservatives controlling much of the like moves.
Foreign state control of oil sands development has reached the point at which further such foreign state control would not be of net benefit to Canada," he told reporters.
"Therefore, going forward, the minister (of industry) will find the acquisition of control of a Canadian oil sands business by a foreign state-owned enterprise to be of net benefit only in an exceptional circumstance."
The Ottawa powers-that-be implemented new rules that impose tough conditions against state-owned enterprises that seek to invest in the Canadian economy.
The new approach will raise general questions about the way in which Canada can raise the $650 billion in investments it needs in the natural resource sector over the next decade.
Harper stated that Canada was concerned by two overriding factors: Influence that foreign states have over Canadian industry and the general influence that the country in question could have over that particular enterprise.
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