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China seeks more aggressive Canadian investment in financial sector

Following Canadian federal finance minister Jim Flaherty's visit to China to discuss Sino-Canadian relations, the minister has stated that China is calling for more aggressive, less conservative investments in its financial services industry from financial institutions in Canada.

Our financial services sector, particularly our banks, have probably been too conservative, not aggressive enough, in the China market, Mr Flaherty is cited by Bloomberg as saying. The comment was made to me that perhaps the Canadian banks should be less conservative in participating in some of those large IPOs.

In defense, Mr Flaherty contrasted this with the aggressive expansion plans of Canadian insurance groups Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial, which hold a significant presence in the Asian market. In addition to this, Canadian banks including Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank of Montreal are currently expanding in China.

Mr Flaherty’s visit came just after China granted foreigners more access to its financial markets. The country has been gradually opening its finance market to foreigners since 2001, when it joined the World Trade Organization.