The data story on foreign direct investment (FDI) for 2021 includes two major components:

  • Actual FDI: Facts and figures of global investment in Canada on actual foreign direct investment that has flowed into Canada during a specific period of time, produced by Statistics Canada.
  • FDI activity: Information on potential future FDI opportunities, sourced from fDi Markets (announced FDI projects, or greenfield projects) and PitchBook (announced, in progress, in bidding process, upcoming or completed cross-border M&A investments).

Data for actual foreign investments and projected foreign investment opportunities is organized by calendar year. All dollar figures provided are in Canadian dollars (converted directly from the Bank of Canada’s daily exchange rates on May 16, 2022) unless otherwise stated. All figures are rounded to the nearest tenth.


Statistics Canada’s balance of payments data for FDI flows provide actual FDI data for Canada (foreign investment dollars that have been confirmed to have flowed into the country). However, one key limitation of these numbers is that they do not provide information on a company or provincial level.

To address this limitation, fDi Markets and PitchBook subscription tools were used to provide more detailed insights on FDI activity in Canada. These tools compile foreign investment announcements, including more information on global companies announcing their intentions to invest in Canada, and the provincial destinations of these announcements. fDi Markets provides a database of announced FDI projects (cross-border investments to set up a new physical operation or expand an existing operation), while PitchBook provides information on announced cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A investments).

Actual FDI

Data on foreign investments from Statistics Canada for 2021 was retrieved on June 10, 2022 from the following three tables, which are updated quarterly:

  • Table 36-10-0025-01 (Types of investment)
  • Table 36-10-0026-01 (Industries)
  • Table 36-10-0473-01 (Source countries)

There are certain limitations to this data. For instance, provincial breakdowns of FDI flows do not exist across the three tables, and the industries table only features six industry categories.

Notably, there are key data limitations in the source countries table. Because information is presented on an immediate investor basis, country figures include foreign investments that occur through intermediary, or flow-through, countries. As FDI flows capture the “location of the last investor before the funds reach the domestic economy,” this FDI measure does not present a full picture of which countries ultimately control the investments into Canada.

Note that FDI statistics on an ultimate investor country (UIC) basis does not exist for the FDI flows measure. These numbers do exist for FDI stock, a measure that illustrates the total accumulated value of FDI at a particular point in time. Statistics Canada’s presentation of 2021 FDI stock on a UIC basis presents the source countries that have directly invested into Canada and therefore ultimately own the total investments that are in Canada to date, as of the end of 2021.

As of the end of 2021, the top five source country contributors to FDI stock (by percentage share of total stock across all countries) were:

  • United States: 51.5%
  • United Kingdom: 6.5%
  • Switzerland: 4.4%
  • Japan: 4.3%
  • Netherlands: 3.6%

Source: Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0433-01; Retrieved: May 3, 2022

FDI Activity

FDI activity data for 2021, which represents investments from global companies investing in Canada, was retrieved in May, 2022. This data on announced investments is composed of two parts:

  • FDI projects, which are announced cross-border investments to set up a new physical operation or expand an existing investment
  • Announced cross-border M&A investments

FDI projects data is sourced from fDi Markets, and M&A investments data is sourced from PitchBook. The original source for the majority of FDI projects and M&As, amalgamated by both tools, is company press releases.

This data is further segmented by source country (including a breakdown of non-traditional countries which have not historically sent FDI into Canada), project or deal category, and industry. The data provides details on projected investment amounts to varying degrees, depending on whether the FDI announcement is for an FDI project or an M&A deal. Specifically, for announced FDI projects, fDi Markets provides projected investment amounts, referred to as capital expenditures (CAPEX), which includes estimated values when not initially disclosed. For announced M&As, investment amounts are provided when they are disclosed publicly by the acquiring company.

One key limitation of this data is that projected FDI opportunities come from external announcements, which are not necessarily confirmed investments. An announced FDI project could take several years to materialize into a confirmed FDI project, assuming it moves forward. Similarly, an announced M&A deal may take a few years to materialize, and the investment announcement may be split over different reporting periods.

This data is intended to provide a pipeline of potential future opportunities of global investment in Canada, rather than a complete and accurate picture of job and dollar amounts.

Invest in Canada – FDI Report 2021
Invest in Canada’s FDI Report 2021 highlights how foreign direct investment reached a 15-year high last year, creating new jobs, a greener future and sustainable growth.
FDI Report 2021 by @invest_canada highlights how foreign direct investment reached a 15-year high in 2021, creating new jobs, a greener future and sustainable growth.