China has emerged as the largest energy consumer in the world. Growing Chinese energy demand and Chinese overseas energy investments (including Canadian oil and gas) have prompted increased market interest in China as a source of investment, as a partner in technological cooperation, and as a market for Canadian energy goods and services.
The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening bilateral ties with China, advancing Canada’s energy interests and contributing to Canada’s long-term economic well-being. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that an agreement on energy cooperation with China had been reached.
The Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation provides a framework to engage China on energy issues. The agreement covers a broad range of energy activities, including energy policy, trade and investment, energy efficiency, oil and gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy, as well as energy research and development. This agreement will increase opportunities to attract capital investment, and improve access to markets for Canada’s energy resources, technology and related services.
The MOU sets a foundation for strategic and technical cooperation, including joint research projects, exchange of expertise and facilitation of workshops, and promotion of cooperation between energy companies in both countries. The agreement also provides a vehicle for liaison with provinces and territories, industrial, academic, professional and other organizations.
The Canada-China Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation is the primary vehicle for implementing cooperation under the MOU. This Working Group is co-chaired by Canada’s Department of Natural Resources and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA). The NEA is the main authority in China responsible for energy policy and operates under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s central government body responsible for economic planning.
This MOU is a continuation of the MOU signed in 2001 and renewed in 2006 and it will allow Canada and China to reinforce and develop cooperation in the field of energy.