January 27, 2012
Ministers Baird, Flaherty and Fast highlight Canada’s strong economic fundamentals and competitiveness at World Economic Forum
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, together with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, met with key investors and business leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland to highlight Canada’s strong economic fundamentals and pro-trade plan as part of the government’s plan to create jobs and growth at home.
Each year, more than 1,000 business leaders, from some of the world’s leading companies, participate in the WEF.
“With one in ten Canadian jobs linked to foreign investment, our government understands that attracting new investment creates jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers and families,” said Minister Fast. “Foreign investment brings innovation and new technologies and increases our competitiveness. With our strong banks, stable economy, business-friendly policies and strong commitment to free and open trade, our government continues to position Canada as an attractive destination for global investors.”
Canada’s stock of foreign direct investment (in and out) in 2010 was equivalent to 74.6 percent of its gross domestic product—the third-highest proportion in the G-7. Foreign-owned companies in Canada account for almost half of merchandise exports, one third of research and development (R & D) spending and over one quarter of Canadian profits, revenues and capital investment. Foreign direct investment has steadily increased over the years. In 2010 alone, inward investment increased by $14 billion over 2009.
“As a trading nation, Canada considers that foreign investment is critical to creating jobs for Canadians and growing the Canadian economy,” said Minister Baird. “Our government is working hard to create the conditions to attract investment, and in my travels I make sure to let other countries know the many reasons Forbes Magazine recently named Canada the best country in which to do business.”
“The Government of Canada has built a Canadian advantage by lowering taxes, promoting free trade and innovation and keeping government finances sustainable,” said Minister Flaherty. “Our bold action is positioning Canada as a low-tax investment destination. Canada’s Economic Action Plan, sound economic fundamentals and solid banking system helped Canada recover from the global economic crisis ahead of most industrialized countries.”
One company at Davos that already knows Canada’s strong business fundamentals first-hand is LANXESS, the world’s second-largest producer of butyl rubber. It employs more than 500 highly skilled personnel in Canada.
“LANXESS chose to invest in Canada because of its highly qualified and talented workforce, its innovative R & D centres and commitment to producing next-generation products,” said Axel Heitmann, Chairman of LANXESS’s board of management. “At our new R & D centre at the University of Western Ontario, we have produced the first quantities of bio-based rubber, which will enable us to decouple our resources from petroleum dependency. We look forward to growing our relationship with Canada even further.”
A number of Canada’s other key foreign investors are attending the WEF. They include Siemens, Shell, Rio Tinto, Google and AMEC PLC.
In 2011, the Harper government’s investment promotion efforts helped attract 95 new foreign businesses and expansion projects worth more than $16 billion to Canada. More than 5,300 new jobs were created as a result.
For additional details on Canada’s presence at the WEF, please consult Canadian Ministers at World Economic Forum.
To find multilingual, comprehensive information on Canada’s many investment and business advantages, please consult Invest in Canada.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Office of the Minister of Finance
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade
Jack Aubry, Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada