NWT seeks federal help over China investment

Bob McLeod with Stephen Harper
File photo of Bob McLeod with Stephen Harper.
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Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod will address the Prime Minister this week as he looks for help increasing Chinese investment in the territory.

McLeod recently concluded an 11-day trade mission to China and Japan.

He says Chinese investors are ready to help the North expand its infrastructure, but only if conditions and legislation are right.

“They’ve invested a lot in other countries and they’ve been burned a lot in their investments, so it’s important for them to know what kind of investment policies we have – what kind of programs we have to attract them to our territory,” McLeod told Moose FM.

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“They’re very interested in building infrastructure on our behalf, and whether we would let their workers come into the territory to do work.

“Right now, we have certain opportunities for Chinese immigration through the nominee program. But to meet our objectives we’ll need the Government of Canada to increase the cap, if you can call it that, so we can bring more people in.”

McLeod and his cabinet are in Ottawa this week for a series of meetings with federal ministers and public events designed to promote the Northwest Territories. McLeod will speak with Stephen Harper as part of that visit.

“I’ll be talking to the Prime Minister. I’ve got a number of things to talk to him about, but I’ll update him on our trip. He’s very interested in China, having been there just a couple of weeks ago,” said McLeod.

The Premier could not elaborate on the form Chinese investment in Northwest Territories infrastructure might take.

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He only added: “We’re trying to find out more about what they meant, so we’re looking into what they were outlining to see whether that’s a possibility.”

McLeod’s trip to Asia included the signing of a memorandum of understanding on fur exports, a tourism event promoting the NWT in Japan, and meetings with the diamond and jewellery industry.

The Government of the Northwest Territories has produced this backgrounder (PDF) on McLeod’s trip to Ottawa.

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