July 8, 2015 / 4:34 PM / 4 years ago

Canada eyes opportunities for its firms in deciding on AIIB

Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s decision on joining the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be determined in part by the scope for Canadian companies to compete for projects the bank funds, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Wednesday.

Canada said in April it was actively considering joining the AIIB, despite U.S. and Japanese reservations, but it was not among the 50 nations that signed the articles of agreement last week.

“Our government is monitoring developments to determine, among other things, the opportunity for Canadian companies to compete for infrastructure projects,” Oliver told a Canada-China financial conference in Toronto.

“When we make a decision, of course it will be based on Canada’s national interests,” he said.

Oliver said in a question-and-answer session afterward that more than a trillion dollars, perhaps several trillion, of AIIB project investments would be involved, so the share won by Canadian companies need not be large to be meaningful.

“We want to make sure that the rules in place provide a realistic and fair opportunity for our companies to compete. We’re not asking for any guarantees,” he said.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Writing by Randall Palmer; Editing by W Simon and Peter Galloway

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