by Xinhua writer Bai Jie
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Governor General David Johnston said on Friday that Canada and China share opportunities of cooperation on energy, and his country welcomes foreign investment in the sector, including from China.
"There are terrific opportunities [of cooperation] between our two nations in the energy sector," said Johnston, who kicked off his state visit to China early Friday, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
"Canada is rich in energy resources, and is very happy to export them. But another area related to that is the technology that goes with energy," said the governor general, calling for more cooperation in the area.
He said there have been increasing exchanges of that kind "so that China will be able to develop its own energy with shared technology," adding that "someday experience in China will be able to help Canada to develop oil resources in a more effective manner."
According to Canadian research released in March, Canada will soon become one of the world's largest exporters of energy products.
Canada currently ranks sixth in the world in oil production, and was the fifth largest exporter of oil, natural gas, oil products, and electricity combined in 2009, behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Iran, said the research, conducted by the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian think-tank.
"I would anticipate that the next ten years will be very attractive, not simply for the exported energy from Canada to China, but also in the mutual relationships where the technology associated with will help both countries," said Johnston.
"We are in a situation where we welcome foreign investment in our energy development," he said.
On Feb. 26, Chinese oil company CNOOC completed its 15.1 billion-U.S.-dollar purchase of Canadian energy producer Nexen, the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company.
According to Chinese Ambassador to Canada Zhang Junsai, the deal meant energy cooperation between China and Canada no longer lacks major projects, and led to Chinese investment in Canada surge to some 40 billion U.S. dollars.
Talking about bilateral economic cooperation, Johnston said the two nations have built good foundations, "but that's only the beginning...and there is so much to come."
Statistics from Chinese Ministry of Commerce show that trade volume between China and Canada reached a record high of 51.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, up 8.3 percent compared to that of the previous year.
This is Johnston's first state visit to China since he took office in October 2010. The 72-year-old governor general has paid a dozen of visits to China since 1981, when he was president of McGill University in Montreal.
The week-long trip will also take Johnston to other Chinese cities including Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
"We have a very strong relationship between our two peoples and we have so much we can do to advance that relationship," said Johnston. "That's the main message I want to convey to Chinese people this time."