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China will be Alberta’s new dance partner

Aug 17, 2010

by Paul Marck

Not much doubt that the new economic superpower will play a big role here

By Paul Marck

Not that it passed by unnoticed, but news that China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy during the sluggish second quarter is very telling. We have been hearing about China’s emergence as a global kingpin for some time, but there can be no doubt now about the predictions.

China’s leading the GDP figures over Japan — the world’s number two economy for more than 40 years, behind only the U.S. — is likely not just a one-quarter wonder. Japan’s economy has been faltering for years, while China has surged. At a projected growth rate of 10 per cent a year, it is not likely to fall behind, since Japan is only slated to grow by two or three per cent.

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Need more evidence? China has become the world’s biggest consumer of energy. In the past year, we have seen investment totaling nearly $7 billion in the oil sands from Chinese companies and there is no reason to believe that pace will slow anytime soon.

What, ultimately does it mean? Our reliance on trading with the U.S. on energy products will diminish as Alberta’s marketplace expands. Geopolitical issues aside, that is not a bad thing. It could also open the door to other rapidly emerging nations to come calling on Alberta for oil and gas. Increased competition will place increased demand on the oil sands, spur prices and strengthen our economy.

Not a bad thing at all.

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