Canada’s Kenney Says Review of Cnooc-Nexen Bid Will be Rigorous

Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the country’s investment treaty with China provides reciprocity to Canada’s businesses in the Asian country.

The following are comments by Kenney to reporters today in Ottawa.

On Cnooc Ltd.’s bid for Nexen Inc.:

“The decision on that application for an acquisition under the Investment Canada Act will be made by the minister of industry based on the net benefit test.

‘‘The prime minister has underscored, as you know, has underscored our government’s particular concern about large-scale proposed acquisitions by state-owned enterprises and the need for a rigorous analysis to be undertaken for such applications. So I look forward to the decision of my colleague, Minister Paradis.’’

On the Canadian cabinet’s view of Cnooc’s bid:

‘‘I’m not going to comment on cabinet deliberations. The prime minister has expressed the view that we need to be especially careful in assessing applications for acquisitions by large-scale state owned enterprises. So I anticipate there will be a rigorous application of the Investment Canada criteria in this instance.

‘‘Of course, our prime minister has consistently articulated a balanced approach to our relationship with China that emphasizes our commercial interests but also our values in the way that the previous policy was unbalanced, having I think largely neglected the values dimension of the relationship. I think our prime minister has been very successful in striking the balance that Canadians are looking for.’’

On reciprocity:

‘‘One of the key reasons why we’ve finalized the foreign investment protection and promotion agreement, after 18 years of negotiation, is to provide for a degree of reciprocal protection for investment on both sides.’’

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