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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Canada | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

After having declined in 2009-2010, the inflows of FDI in Canada increased again in 2011-2012. The Canadian economy is considered to be more stable than other large western economies. In 2013, FDI continued to make progress, according to the data available in November, they had an increase of 44% in relation to 2012.

According to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2013, the country ranks 10th in terms of FDI inflows. Canada has an attractive business environment. It ranks 19 out of 189 countries in the classification Doing Business 2014 issued by the World Bank. However, it went down two places in relation to the previous year.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Canada OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 9.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 8.7 6.1 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 39,66943,02562,325
FDI Stock (million USD) 591,043629,825644,977
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 57--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 17--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 327309264
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 9.59.814.1
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 33.234.635.3

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Canada

Strong Points
Canada's main advantages are a qualified workforce and an easy access to raw materials. It is one of the most dynamic economies in the world, with a market of 30 million consumers and sophisticated infrastructures, as well as a very modern transportation network.
Weak Points
Canada's weak points are its excessive dependence to the United States and a currently damaged financial system.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Canada applies a low taxation rate on companies. It is currently the country that applies the lowest payroll taxes in the G7 countries.
Companies establishing their headquarters in Canada get tax benefits, higher than those offered in the United States. In addition, the government announced a euro 24.6 billion two-year recovery plan.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Canada
On 1 June 2007, Canada had signed bilateral agreements with more than 25 countries. See the list of the countries.
To see the conventions, click here.
Canada is a signatory to agreements and arrangements with more than 70 bilateral partners in the aviation sector.

It has concluded FTAs with the United States and Mexico (NAFTA), as well as with Chile, Israel, Costa Rica in July 2007 and Panama in August 2009 (elimination of tariffs in sectors of industry, agriculture, forestry and fishing).

Canada, Peru and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) signed a free trade agreement on 26 January 2008 at Davos, in Switzerland.

In 2012, Canada and Mexico became participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, through which the United States and 10 other Asia-Pacific partners are seeking to establish a comprehensive regional agreement to liberalize trade and investment.

Canada has negotiated Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs) with countries in Central Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia and is actively pursuing FIPA’s with a dozen other countries, including India. Canada signed a FIPA with China in September 2012, after nearly two decades of negotiations. Canada also concluded FIPA negotiations with Senegal, Tanzania, and Benin in 2012 and brought into force a FIPA with the Slovak Republic in March 2012.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Yes, on condition that the company follows the directives required by the Canadian government. Foreign investment is subject to the Investment Canada Act.
Acquisition of Holdings
Possible on condition of observing the in-depth procedure of examination of the project.
Obligation to Declare
Canada is in the first rank of OECD countries as regards the low number of procedures (2) and the shortest time limit (3 days) imposed for setting up an industrial or commercial company. A foreign company can set up in Canada by creating a distinct legal entity or a subsidiary under Canadian federal law or a provincial law governing companies. A subsidiary is treated in the same way as a branch office. It must have a commercial permit or be registered with the province where it does business.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Investment Canada
Citizenship and immigration Canada - Guide 4000
Requests For Specific Authorizations
There are particular restrictions in the communications and transport sectors. All requests must be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
For further information, see investment laws in Canada.

Investment in specific sectors is covered by special legislation. Foreign investment in the financial sector is administered by the Finance Department. Investment in any activity related to Canada's cultural heritage or national identity is administered by the Heritage Department. The main foreign investment prohibitions concern "cultural industries", the financial sector, aviation, mining, telecommunication, fishing. Restrictions on foreign investment differ by province, but are largely confined to the purchase of land and to financial services

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Canada on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Business Development Bank of Canada
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Invest in Canada
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Merx, Canadian Public Tenders
Tenders Info, Tenders in Canada
PODS Providers, Procurement Opportunities in Canada
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Buy and Sell Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada
Other Useful Resources
Investissement Québec (Investment Quebec)
Ontario Immigration - doing business
Manitoba Trade and Investment
Investment in the community support programs
Invest in Alberta
Invest in Nova Scotia
Invest in New Brunswick
Invest in Nova Scotia
Invest in Prince Edward Island
Invest in Newfoundland and Labrador

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Learn more about Investing in Canada on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014