Oilsands investment from China shrinks after Nexen deal
Experts say change of foreign investment rules has not helped
Experts on trade issues say the amount of money China is investing in the Alberta oilsands has slowed considerably since the takeover of Nexen.
Ottawa approved the $15 billion takeover of the Canadian company by state-owned China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) in 2012.
After that sale the federal government changed foreign investment rules for state owned enterprises.
Industry consultant Joe Bradford says the timing couldn't be worse because project costs are soaring.
"If we're going to get these things built and if we're going to be getting them to market and derive the value of the resources, we've got to put a lot of capital in place to get it done properly and get it done timely," said Bradford.
It's estimated the oil and gas sector needs $400 billion in capital.
"We know our local economy, Canadian investments don't have the capacity to provide that level of investment capital into the marketplace," said Cal Dallas, Alberta's minister of International and Intergovernmental relations.
Gordon Houlden, the director of the Institute, says there is nothing to fear.
"People were scared to death of NAFTA which has been a huge boost to Canadian prosperity."
Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's ambassador to China, agrees more needs to be done to ease the fears of Canadians.
"We have our work cut out for us to explain. That's why I would like to translate the numbers, to say to Albertans or Canadians that there is so much money you receive from trade and thanks to investment."
One stumbling block is a foreign investment agreement signed with China but not yet ratified by Ottawa.
There is no indication of when it will be signed.