During Harper`s visit to China in February 2012, some commentators in the Canadian media reported that the Chinese government was much friendlier than in 2009. Harper met with President Hu and Prime Minister Wen and signed a series of economic agreements prepared by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, including a uranium export treaty and the Canada-China Agreement for The Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments (CCPRPIA), which was linked by the media to (other) potential Chinese investments in the Athabasca oil sands and negotiated for 18 years. The negotiations and the text itself were kept secret until November 2016. Chinese government officials have suggested that the next logical step would be a free trade agreement that Canadian officials have promised to consider.  Former CBC correspondent Patrick Brown has been covering world capitals and dusty backwaters for more than 30 years, with a particular focus on Asia, having been established at several times in Bangkok, Delhi and more recently in Beijing. He now divides his time as an independent documentary filmmaker between Canada and China. Follow Patrick Brown on Twitter: @truthfromfacts 2013, Canadian oil and gas company Nexen became a wholly-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CNOOC Limited. According to the Reuters news agency, “the agreement provided access to an area of the Gulf of Mexico, the British North Sea and off the coast of West Africa.”  According to maclean`s, “the CNOOC-Nexen agreement has been highly controversial as to the extent to which foreign state control over Canadian resources is acceptable. The fact that the agreement came mainly from a Chinese company has left concerns in some quarters about business with an undemocratic state.  Should the Harper government focus its efforts on implementing a FIPA with China? The answer, of course, depends on the administration`s direct trade and investment priorities, but we believe that providing additional time or energy for this company would be a fundamental waste of critical resources. FIPA is a binding bilateral investment agreement between Canada and a strategic investment partner. However, given the relatively weak foreign direct investment (FDI) flows between Canada and the CPP, it may be useful to reconsider the value of a Sino-Canada agreement. Of course, the United States and Europe remain by far the two main sources of foreign direct investment in Canada.
At the same time, Canadian direct investment abroad remains highly concentrated in the United States and Europe, with a fairly large margin. Simply put, China is a relative non-entity when it comes to the issue of foreign direct investment. As a result, Canada could be better served if it focused on a trade agreement that would protect and encourage investment in both countries and protect and encourage existing trading patterns that are currently on the rise.