Alex Paterson

Issues: Strategic industries, state-owned enterprises and the national interest

October 16, 2012

On Wednesday October 17 2012, Canada 2020 hosted a panel discussion on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) buying into strategic industries in Canada.

The event was entitled ‘Buying Canada‘ – an acknowledgement of the fact that more and more foreign companies are seeking opportunity in Canada, especially within the energy and natural resources sector.

And yet the recent CNOOC-Nexen deal (valued at $15.1 billion – a 60% premium on the share price) has drawn attention because of one very large, very crucial distinction from typical FDI: CNOOC is a Chinese state-owned enterprise, and in many respects an agent of Chinese government foreign policy.

It is because of this that we have struck a panel to help us answer some of the following questions:

  • What is at stake when state-owned enterprises seek to take over Canadian companies?
  • Are strategic sectors in Canada that should be ‘protected’ and examine what makes us nervous about these kind of takeovers.
  • Are nervous about Chinese takeovers than takeovers from other countries? And is this justified?

To prepare for the discussion, we have pulled together a deck that walks through the important issues, concerns and questions at play. It also summarizes some of the key pieces of federal policy, and profiles the key actors in the approval or rejection or SOE takeovers.

You can read the deck here: Canada 2020 – Buying Canada SOEs Issue Deck

As well, be sure to watch the event, live, at 4:30 PM online at

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  1. The teneur of yesterday’s debate was excellent and provided a forum for many of the elements which should be taken into account in the approval by government of CNOOC’s proposed take over of Nexen.

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