Canada must be open for business, particularly in the oil and gas sector, says
bank executive and former cabinet minister
Key is to ensure foreign ownership adheres to transparency and governance
LONDON, England, Nov. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) — In order
to allow State-Owned Enterprise to invest in Canada, public policy must ensure
that foreign investments adhere to strict standards of governance and
transparency says the Hon. Jim Prentice, Senior Executive Vice-President and
Vice Chairman of CIBC.
In a speech to the Oil & Money 2012 conference in London, Mr. Prentice told
the audience that 'turbulence' in Canada over SOEs may have surprised the
international business communities, but that there was obvious and escalating
public concern in Canada about SOE investments.
"This controversy has been building for years," said Mr. Prentice. "And it
achieved a force in recent months that can be fairly said to be turbulence.
This is because of two proposed investments in Canadian energy companies by
two State Owned Enterprises - Petronas from Malaysia and CNOOC from China."
Mr. Prentice noted that "this is a pivotal time for the Canadian government".
He continued, "it must consider its policy on foreign investment in light of
the growing and evolving role of SOEs in Canada's oil and gas industry.
However, Canada must and will remain open for business and that means open to
In fact, he said Canada is aggressively engaged in diversifying its energy
markets with an eye to Asia - and with good reason.
"Saying "no thanks" to the largest new market opportunity, namely China, would
be patently unwise. Particularly in circumstances where the transactions do
not imperil Canadian values or environmental and labour laws," stated Mr.
However, Mr. Prentice cautioned that it would be naïve to think that the
acquisition of Canadian energy resources by foreign governments or their
surrogates would not raise public policy questions.
"While Canada is most definitely open for business - it is not for sale," said
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The speech is available at
Kevin Dove at (416)-980-8835 email@example.com
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CO: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
NI: FIN ECO
-0- Nov/14/2012 08:45 GMT
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