OTTAWA, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Asian investors remain keen on playing a role in the Canadian energy sector despite concerns over federal investment rules, Canada's resource minister said.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver spoke to The Globe and Mail newspaper about his recent investment discussions with Asian investors.
"I certainly got no sense from anybody that they are turned off the prospect of investing in the Canadian industry," he said in an interview published Monday.
The Canadian government in December passed a rule prohibiting state-owned companies from taking on a majority stake in companies working on oil sands developments in Canada. Major Asian companies, like China National Offshore Oil Corp., are state-owned.
Oliver said he noted a slowdown in Asian investments in Canada but attributed it to a sluggish economy and to the lack of export infrastructure along his country's western coast.
The Canadian government is supporting pipeline developments and export infrastructure for western provinces. Canada currently exports nearly all of its oil to the United States, which is starting to use more of its own natural reserves.
"Canada is looked upon with great interest and great favor," Oliver said.