Over 250 investors, issuers and intermediaries joined us for the Canada-China Investors Forum on 27 and 28 June. The two days of vibrant discussion both on and off the stage in Beijing were a clear reflection of the buzz around the developing relationship between the two countries.
The outstanding array of keynote speakers on both days highlighted the institutionalisation of bilateral relations between Canada and China. The honourable Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta, opened the proceedings and her words underlined growing commitment to partnership between the two nations: “Our strong government presence on this mission demonstrates how serious Alberta is about establishing personal relationships with business, government and cultural leaders in China”.
Following her at the lectern were ZHU Xinqiang, Vice President of the Export-Import Bank of China Trade; HE Zhenwei, the Vice Secretary General from the China Industrial Overseas Development and Planning Association and Jim Prentice from CIBC and a former Canadian Minister. Whilst a strong advocate of Canada-China cooperation, Mr. Prentice was keen to stress the importance of strengthening a strategic partnership built on reciprocal trade and investment.
More than 60 one-to-one meetings between companies and potential investors took place via our dedicated meeting planner service.
As the strategic natural resources in China’s continued growth, oil and energy were of course a key focal point of the conference. We were joined by Steve Williams from Suncor Energy – Canada’s largest energy company – who set the tone for a series of discussions that probed regulatory and environmental concerns, infrastructural needs and marketing and investment plans.
Spurred by the need to diversify away from reliance on a sole customer for their energy output, Canada is committed to forging robust energy partnerships beyond their neighbour to the south. China’s energy needs place her as an ideal partner. The common narrative of the discussion suggests that this new relationship represents a fundamental and long-term change in Canada’s oil and energy outlook.
Canada’s other natural resources were by no means overshadowed by the energy story. With mining, minerals and lumber interests looking beyond the stock markets and the banks for equity and funding respectively, the conference had a strong show of Canadian firms exploring the potential for Chinese investment.
In coordinating a meeting between two countries, two cultures and two continents, the Canada-China Investment Forum was by no means a simple undertaking. Again, we would like to thank our sponsors and speakers for sharing our vision for the event, and look forward to building on our work this year for an even better conference in 2013.