Northwest Territories courts the Middle Kingdom | Embassy - Canada's Foreign Policy Newspaper | NWT News |

Dozens of Chinese firms are set to meet with Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod in Calgary, says a Chinese consulate official, on the heels of a major charm offensive by the premier to attract Chinese investment.

Chinese economic consul Lei Jianzhong confirmed the head of China’s Calgary mission, Liu Yongfeng, is hoping to lead a team of Chinese and local companies to meet with Mr. McLeod in Calgary next month. 

Mr. McLeod is “very interested in Chinese investment,” said Mr. Lei. “He wants to promote his province, his territory, for Chinese business.”

While the consulate in Calgary has responsibility for the Northwest Territories, Ms. Liu has not led such a delegation before. She met the premier after he returned from a trip to China in September 2012, said Mr. Lei. Mr. McLeod was travelling as part of a trade mission with other premiers. 

When he returned, the consular official said, Mr. McLeod told the Chinese that he wanted to meet with their companies in Calgary. But the meeting was postponed due to scheduling problems. Now the meeting is tentatively set for March 15, said Mr. Lei.

There are around 30 Chinese investment entities—both joint ventures and sole Chinese investment vehicles—that could be involved, he said. Part of the objective in bringing the two sides together will be to introduce Chinese investors to the Northwest Territories. Most Chinese, admitted Mr. Lei, don’t have much information about the territory’s potential riches.

“They don’t know what is there, and what they can do there, what they can buy or what they can sell,” he said.

The premier also told Embassy Chinese companies have expressed interest in investing in his territory.