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Ontario, leader in Foreign Direct Investments

Honourable Senators,

I rise to address Ontario’s leadership in the area of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The FDI Report 2015: Global greenfield investment trends shows that Ontario led for the second year in a row for foreign capital investment, receiving $7.1 billion US dollars. The province also ranked first for foreign capital investment in the automotive and life sciences sectors and second for the number of FDI jobs in the financial services sector. Ontario outperformed U.S. states and other Canadian provinces in other areas as well.

The impact Ontario has around the world is significant because it reinforces Canada’s role as a global leader in business and creating jobs. Findings from the report also show that the province moved up two places, and now ranks third in foreign direct investment job creation with over 13,000 jobs created in 2014.  This number is over double the 6102 jobs that were created in 2013.

Honourable Senators, foreign direct investments are a vital part of Canada’s economic sustainability.

Since 2012, I’ve participated in various delegations to the Caribbean and Africa and I’m happy to report that many companies are interested in Canada as a country to do business with.

During my trip to Ethiopia in February of this year, it was enlightening to learn first-hand about the business opportunities in the sectors of Agriculture and Agro-processing, energy, finance, mining, housing and ICT. 

As I met with various ambassadors and high commissioners, I’ve learned that many countries around the world including Bangladesh, Rwanda and Ethiopia are interested in forming partnerships with Canadian businesses to support infrastructure and energy projects in their countries that they desperately need.

After Real Estate, the FDI report shows that in 2014 coal, oil and natural gas represented $79 billion dollars in FDI and was also the second largest sector for Foreign Direct Investments.

According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing and mining sectors accounted for over half of the growth in the stock of foreign direct investment in Canada in 2014.  The mining and oil and gas extraction sector increased from $10.9 billion to $152.0 billion and since 1999, these two sectors combined have accounted for about half of all foreign direct investment in Canada.

The study further highlighted that FDI in Panama quadrupled to $8 billion due to a $6 billion cooper mining project from a Canadian company.

Honourable Senators, foreign investments create opportunities for Ontario firms to set up shop around the world, create jobs and stimulate economies abroad and at home. I will continue to work with stakeholders, community groups and government to help remove barriers that impede Canadian businesses from offering their services abroad. This is Canada’s time to lead on the world stage, create jobs, boost our economy and enhance global communities.