TOKYO, Japan, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today concluded his first official visit to Japan, where he reinforced the economic and natural resource relationship between our countries. This week's visit follows Minister Rickford's participation in the APEC Energy Ministers Summit in Asia last September.
The Minister took part in a two-day program highlighting Canada as a safe, secure and reliable source of energy to the world.
Minister Rickford's visit supports the Government of Canada's priority of strengthening relationships to increase trade and investment opportunities for Canada's natural resource sectors, as well as diversifying its energy markets. The Minister highlighted Canada as an ideal destination for continued investment and as a complementary partner to Japan, as well as the growing interest in energy security. His activities included:
- Delivering remarks hosted by the LNG Producer Consumer Conference 2014, where the Minister was joined by his counterparts from Japan, Qatar, and Australia
- Delivering remarks to the Canada and Japan Chambers of Commerce during a joint conference on the future of the Canada–Japan relationship
- Signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between Natural Resources Canada and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation for bilateral scientific cooperation to further enhance our countries' safe records of shale gas and tight oil development
- Bilateral meetings with senior government officials, including Mr. Yoichi Miyazawa, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; and Mr. Hirobumi Kawano, President of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation;
- Bilateral meetings with Japanese companies, including Idemitsu Kosan, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Petroleum Exploration and the Inpex Corporation
- Meeting with forest industry stakeholders to discuss opportunities for Canadian wood products and expertise in Japan
- Japan is Canada's fourth-largest export market for Canadian natural resources and Canada's fourth-largest merchandise trading partner overall, with bilateral trade exceeding $24 billion in 2013.
- Canada is the world's fifth-largest producer of natural gas, with enough marketable natural gas resources to maintain the current rate of production for more than 300 years. Japanese companies are also partners in four proposed LNG projects in Canada.
- Canada has one of the best job creation records in the G7 since 2009 and enjoys the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7.
- Canada recently leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business. According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G7 and 46 percent lower than those in the United States. Our overall tax rate on new business investment is 13 percent lower than the OECD average.
- The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada's energy sector has grown continuously from $61 billion in 2004 to $182.5 billion in 2013. Since 2005, foreign direct investment in oil, mining and gas has increased by 85 percent, with Japan being Canada's largest bilateral FDI partner in Asia.
"Our government maintains an open, market-based approach to trade and investment and encourages capital investments that contribute to the long-term prosperity of Canada and Canadians. We must work together to capitalize on the complementarity of Canada and Japan's resource interests. Enhancing Canada's relationship with Japan and increasing trade will benefit our respective economies and the future prosperity of both countries."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
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SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Chris McCluskey, Director of Communications, Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, 613-996-2007; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST, Telephone: 613-995-0947, E-mail: [email protected]