BEIJING, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- There are huge economic benefits to working with Chinese businesses in all areas, including the energy sector, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
Harper met with Chinese officials on the sidelines of the regional conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
"With a population of well over a billion citizens and one of the top economies in the world today, China presents incredible opportunities for Canadian businesses which could translate into significant economic and job growth back home," the prime minister said in a Saturday statement.
Countries rich in oil and gas reserves are eager to tap into the growing Asian market. Oil production from Canada is expected to continue expanding, fed largely by oil sands production in Alberta, and the prime minister said he's eager to reach across the Pacific to find new energy partners.
Nearly all of the oil produced in Canada heads to the U.S. market. In Beijing, Harper's administration praised the expansion of Canadian company Suncor Energy in the Chinese market.
China National Offshore Oil Corp last year completed a $15.1 billion purchase of Canadian energy producer Nexen.
Both sides, the prime minister said, have set "a bold course for future engagement and prosperity."