Speech by Consul General LIU Yongfeng at the IWF Edmonton Chapter
（From Chinese Consulate General in Calgary）
Bright Future of the Chinese-Canadian Energy Cooperation
Distinguished guests and members of the IWF Edmonton Chapter:
I am both delighted and honored to have been invited to this gathering.
As professional women, many of you are experts and executive officers with the energy, private and public, and educational sectors in Alberta. I'm very glad to get to know all of you here today.
At present, energy cooperation has become an increasingly important part of Chinese-Canadian Strategic cooperation. It is both timely and appropriate for us to discuss the role and the advantages that Alberta has in this strategic partnership.
Dean Elford tells me that you are curious and concerned about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Field of Energy Cooperation between China's National Energy Administration and Natural Resources Canada, which was renewed after Prime Minister Harper's recent visit to China. In particular, that you would like to know more about what potential Albertan initiatives can be interpreted from this Memorandum. I am delighted to share my knowledge and understanding of this important agreement with you.
The MOU was first signed in Beijing in 2001, renewed in 2006 and again in 2012 as I mentioned before. As far as I am aware, the updated MOU includes the following three basic aspects.
Firstly, it defines the areas of bilateral energy cooperation which includes energy policy, energy efficiency, nuclear energy, new and renewable energy, energy research and development, regional development and other cooperative areas mutually agreed on by both our countries.
Secondly, it categorizes the forms of bilateral energy cooperation, which includes promotion of technical cooperation, relevant connection and cooperation among producers, academic and professional institutions, and other organizations in the energy area.
Thirdly, the existing joint working group will continue to be the primary vehicle, mainly responsible for coordinating the cooperation and activities outlined in the MOU and this group will continue to meet to discuss matters on an annual basis.
In the past decade, under the instruction of the MOU, Chinese-Canadian energy cooperation has developed significantly.
For instance, from 1983 until 2002 the total amount of Chinese investment in Canada was only 435 million U.S.D. In contrast, by the end of 2011, Chinese investment in the energy sector in Canada has reached 18 billion U.S.D.
Also, quite a few Canadian companies are developing their businesses in China. Sunwing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe Energy is a successful case.
The MOU has provided a mechanism protection and been conducive to promoting Chinese-Canadian cooperation and that is why the MOU continues to be renewed. And, Energy cooperation has become a highlight of our strategic partnership by now.
Compared with earlier versions, the current version highlights the role of trade, investment, technical cooperation, and aims to give a stronger role to Canadian provinces and territories in bilateral energy cooperation and in this regard, Alberta has led the way.
More and more capable Chinese investors have been attracted by Alberta's abundant resources and favorable investment climate. Since 2009, Chinese enterprises have invested nearly 140 billion dollars in the energy field in Alberta, which accounts for the vast majority of China's energy investment in Canada.
During Prime Minister Harper's visit to China, he expressed Canada's interest and welcoming of Chinese investment. A 1 billion dollars Chinese-Canadian natural resources foundation was set up by the Export-Import Bank of China and Canaccord Financial Incorporated, aiming to support China's investments in Canadian natural resources and energy.
I believe that with the implementation of the MOU, markets of Alberta's energy resources, technology and related services, will be largely expanded and thus attract more capital investment. Together with supports from both of our governments, undoubtedly, more Chinese investors will come to Alberta.
Also, Alberta government and private enterprises have been trying to diversify the export markets for energy products and explore Asian markets, including China.
Currently, MOU has placed emphasis on the promotion of energy trade, which is inspiring to both sides. Although there is currently no direct oil trade from Alberta to China, I believe it will come about with the progress being made in diversifying the oil export market.
The MOU has set up a special fund for strategic technological cooperation such as joint research, exchange of expertise and facilitation of workshops as well as the promotion of cooperation between energy companies in both our countries.
Already, I believe that the University of Alberta and other academic institutions in Alberta have established cooperative relationships with their Chinese counterparts and developed a number of joint-research projects. In these ways, the current MOU will provide more support to energy technical cooperation.
Also, the MOU encourages provinces and territories to play active roles in our two counties energy cooperation. It will help each province or territory in Canada to establish and strengthen its communication and coordination with the related departments of the Chinese government.
I would say that the MOU cannot be implemented smoothly and successfully without the support of the provinces and territories because each has its' own jurisdiction over the development of natural resources.
Only a month after signing of the current Memorandum, Alberta sent a working group consisting of government officials and experts to China to discuss the frame work agreement, which is the specific program concerning the implementation of the MOU. I worked closely with the working group both before and after their visit. And they returned to Edmonton a week ago having achieved very fruitful outcomes.
Both China and Canada are highly complementary in energy production, utilization and energy technologies, thereby promoting and serving our mutual interests.
Furthermore, Canada is one of the main energy sources and exporters in the world. With the development of technology in oil production, oil supply has increased accordingly. However, with the demands from the North American market shrinking in the past few years, Canada needs to explore new markets. At the same time, the energy demand from China is booming as the economy continues to grow. So it is consistent with the mutual needs and benefits of our two countries to promote trade and cooperation in the energy sectors.
Also, with its' mature legal system, sound external cooperation mechanism, coherent policies, advanced energy industry and, most importantly, its stable society, Canada is an ideal destination for foreign investments. At the same time as China is encouraging domestic businesses to "Go Global" and seek for opportunities, a lot of Chinese enterprises are well-funded and ambitious. So potentially, the investment cooperation between China and Canada holds much promise for a bright future.
China's 12th Five Year Plan emphasizes green, low carbon development and lists seven strategic emerging industries, such as new energy, energy and conservation environment protection. Again, in his government work report last month, Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated the importance of optimizing the energy structure, promoting the efficient and clean use of traditional energy, and improving the proportion of new and renewable energy.
Canada has innovative technologies in energy development and advanced environmental protection technologies, and has shown global leadership in promoting alternative energy such as carbon capture, clean coal, liquefied natural gas, etc.
As far as I know, some advanced technologies and high-tech products, such as the Waste Gas Incinerator of Questor Technology Inc.(QTI) has been used in Sichuan Province.
So there are huge potentials for Chinese-Canadian energy technology cooperation.
In addition, deepening energy cooperation will reduce the trade deficit with Canada and balance the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, thus leading to a healthier and smoother development of overall bilateral cooperation between our two countries.
Alberta, as the largest energy producer and the engine of future economic development in Canada, will definitely play a major role in Chinese-Canadian energy cooperation.
I would like to work closely with you all to promote mutual understanding and contribute to Chinese-Canadian energy cooperation.
Thank you once again, Mrs. Elford for this kind invitation to speak to you all and I hope to see you again before too long!