Oil. It makes the world's economy go round. It's the rumoured cause of the wars in Iraq. It's also what emerging economic powers like China and India need most to ensure they keep up with the developed world.
Which all explains both countries' recent interest in acquiring control of Canadian-owned PetroKazakhstan(PetroKaz). China National Petroleum Corp, China's largest oil and gas company, recently outbid India's state-owned oil company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd." in a bidding war for rights to control the oil fields of Kazakhstan.
The location of these lucrative fields would be a natural fit for either country, given each's proximity to the country of origin. Having a ready supply of local oil will improve their trade balance, and cut costs even further for two already low-overhead economies. China's coming out on top of this deal can only increase the impact their economy is having on global markets.
Although China and India have just announced an agreement, which will see their countries combining efforts to bid on energy assets, they are still pursuing their own targets as well. They are not limiting themselves to just oil fields either. Anything connected to the petrochemical field is considered essential; plastics are of special importance.
At present, everyone's favourite marketplace for doing natural resource deals seems to be those old hewers of wood and carriers of water people, Canada. According to the "Globe and Mail" there are a number of factors contributing to Canada's appeal as a place to buy your very own petroleum company.
First is the fact that there is plenty available to pick and choose from, second we are not a war zone, or even near by to one, and finally our dollar is still low enough to make purchases relatively cheap. It's not only oil that's being bought up, nor is it only China and India doing the buying. Both French and Swiss companies have bought up interests in mining operations in recent purchases and are looking to buy more. Even that old stalwart of Canadian industry, Inco, could be on the market.