OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada needs to accommodate foreign investment in its resource sector, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday as the government reviews a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China’s CNOOC (0883.HK) for oil and gas producer Nexen Inc NXY.TO.
“We know we don’t have enough capital in this country to develop our resources that we want to develop over the next generation, so we have to have some accommodation with respect to foreign direct investment,” Flaherty told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), according to a clip shown in advance of the full interview later on Thursday.
He added there would be “more to come” on the issue.
Flaherty has said before that Canada needs foreign capital to develop its energy industry but his remark on accommodation is new.
The takeover by the state-owned CNOOC has been controversial in Canada where the Conservative government is trying to satisfy the need for foreign investment while addressing concerns over China gaining a bigger stake in the country’s natural resources.
Ottawa is set to rule by December 10 on whether to approve the bid, which is one of two pending offers for domestic companies by Asian state-owned enterprises. The other is a bid by Malaysia’s Petronas PETR.UL for Progress Energy Corp (PRQ.TO).
The government has promised to clarify its rules on foreign investment as it announces its decisions on the two takeovers.
Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Andrew Hay