Canada remains popular choice for FDI says Invest in Canada

Global investors see Canada as a "safe place to do business" says agency's chief executive

Canada remains popular choice for FDI says Invest in Canada
Steve Randall

Global investors continue to pour money into Canada’s businesses according to a new report from the government’s foreign direct investment agency.

Invest in Canada says that $75.5 billion was invested in Canada in 2021, a 15-year high in annual foreign direct investment (FDI). By comparison, 2020 saw just $31.1 billion (unsurprising due to the pandemic), 2019’s total was $66.5 billion, and the 10-year average was $53.5 billion.

The report also found that more than half of the FDI last year was from companies that are already operating in Canada, meaning they are reinvesting earnings, a strong sign of confidence in the economy.

"Global investors see Canada and its economy as a secure place to do business. This is great news for Canadians who expect high-quality, community-focused investments into Canada that deliver long-term, sustainable returns." – Katie Curran, interim CEO of Invest in Canada.

Recent data from Statistics Canada shows that foreign investors are also favouring Canada’s equities even as domestic investors pulled back.

Hot industries

Foreign direct investment was notably strong in three key areas in 2021: life sciences and pharmaceuticals; cleantech and hydrogen; and agriculture and agri-food.

There were 736 FDI projects in 2021 with an average investment of $65.5 million and projected to create 34,000 jobs.

For each dollar of GDP generated in the Canadian economy, Canada attracted nearly US$0.72 of FDI in 2021, higher than both the G20 and OECD averages of US$0.38 and US$0.56 respectively, according to OECD data.