Chinese companies wanting to invest in the Yukon will still need to adhere to the territory’s laws, said Premier Darrell Pasloski.
The premier recently returned from a 10-day diplomatic and trade mission to China.
He was there to discuss how the Yukon can strengthen ties with China in sectors like mining, business, education and tourism.
Chinese companies are already partners in several natural resource companies operating in the Yukon.
The Chinese state-operated company CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company), is a majority partner in Northern Cross. Northern Cross has plans to develop oil and gas fields in the Eagle Plains region.
But Chinese involvement shouldn’t be a cause for concern, the premier said.
“When people come to Yukon, you play by Yukon’s rules. And that includes our labour standards, that includes our environmental standards, that includes what kind of taxes they pay and certain royalties they pay as well. And so if a business comes here from United States, or Australia or China those rules will apply to everybody.”
Any agreements made with China need to benefit both parties, he said.
While in China, the premier also signed a sister-province agreement with China’s Shaanxi province.
Both the Yukon and the Shaanxi province have long histories of mineral development, the premier said.
This agreement will allow for partnerships in tourism and education. It could potentially lead to student exchanges with Yukon College, he said.
The two areas are still very different, Pasloski said. Shaanxi is half the size of the Yukon, but has a population of 37 million people.
The premier should provide Yukoners with more information about what was discussed at these meetings, said NDP Leader Liz Hanson. Her call coincides with Right to Know week from Sept. 24 to 28. The week reinforces the public’s right to access government information.
The government investing largely in resource development is not necessarily sustainable, said Hanson.
There are also concerns about the softening of the Chinese economy, she said.
The Yukon needs to diversify its economy and pursue a “comprehensive approach” that includes looking at the tourism industry and knowledge sector, she said.
“It’s having an economic vision that looks at something more than just a single pillar,” said Hanson.
The premier was in China with seven other premiers. The trip was organized by the Council of the Federation.
Contact Meagan Gillmore at