Much ink was spilled on the state of Canada-China relations
during Prime Minister Harper's visit to China last week.
Canadian business circles expressed considerable regret at the long
gap since the previous visit to China by a Canadian Prime Minister.
Mr. Harper does not enjoy the same closeness to Bay Street as some
of his predecessors. Nor does he have the boldness of Nicolas
Sarkozy who can criticize China at a news conference at the
Élysée and travel to Beijing the same day to help
Areva or EADS land a major contract.
Notwithstanding repeated criticism pertaining to the lack of
real dialogue with China since 2006, Prime Minister Harper's
trip (and his trip to India in November) could bring about
significant benefits over and above financial spin-offs. For
several years already, the influence of emerging nations has been
spreading and their ambition has reached beyond the mere potential
of their domestic economies. The recent decision of the G8 to
entrust to the G20 responsibility for all financial matters is not
unrelated to the anxiousness of emerging nations. Having helped to
implement global solutions to the current recession, emerging
nations had no intention of sitting idle until the next crisis
triggered by shortcomings of financial regulatory systems in
certain G8 countries.
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The Canadian Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ("OSFI") recently ruled that a bank cannot promote comprehensive credit insurance ("CCI") within its Canadian branches under the Insurance Business (Banks and Bank Holdings Companies) Regulations (the "Regulations").
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