Canada: A Competitive and Stable Investment During Recession

Karicia Quiroz, Research Manager, Invest in Canada

skyscrapers with flag of canada

In past recessions, Canada has consistently been a competitive and reliable investment destination for foreign investors.  Canada not only rebounded immediately after the end of the 1990-1992 recession and the 2008-2009 financial crisis with positive growth in annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, it was the only G7 country to display continuous growth in the aftermath of both economic downturns. 

Examining Canada’s FDI and economic recovery from historical crises reveals that Canada is well-positioned for recovery from COVID-19. Why? Let’s take a deeper look.

Economic Recovery Efforts in Canada

As Ian McKay, CEO of Invest in Canada, highlighted in a recent blog post, there is a perspective in the trade and investment community that Canada’s current response to the pandemic has been one of the most effective in the world.  To compare, Canada’s stimulus package for COVID-19 is a lot bigger (9.8% of GDP) than the Economic Action Plan (EAP) for the 2008-2009 financial crisis (3.9% of GDP).  Nevertheless, we can learn a lot about the potential COVID-19 recovery path by observing the past. 

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Canada's FDI Numbers: 3 Questions, 3 Perspectives

Invest in Canada

row of Canada flags on building

With the release of Canada’s foreign direct investment (FDI) numbers, Invest in Canada presents additional perspective on what’s behind the numbers. 

Statistics Canada’s report for the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 indicates FDI inflow for the period is $13.1B CAD.  For comparison, in 2019, Q1 results were $12.4B, which reflects an increase of 5.4% in Q1 of 2020.  

If you’ve yet to read Invest in Canada CEO Ian McKay’s article in which he reviews the overall context of the current global investment results, you’re encouraged to do so first. 

Answering three questions about the Q1 FDI results are Invest in Canada’s Chief Executive Officer Ian McKay; Chief, Investor Services Nathalie Béchamp; and Chief Information Officer Issie Berish. 

Question #1: What kind of global direct investment activity do these Q1 numbers reflect? 

Ian G. McKay, Chief Executive Officer, Invest in Canada responds: 

In drilling down deeper and comparing first quarter FDI results for 2020 compared to those in the same period last year, perhaps the biggest difference is in the mergers and acquisitions (M&As) category.

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