APF Canada Investment Monitor 2021 Report Highlights Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Post-Pandemic Asia

VANCOUVER, B.C. – April 28, 2021 – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce the release of Investment Monitor 2021: Report on A Digital, Green, and Innovative Recovery and Foreign Direct Investment providing timely analysis on the shifting investment landscape in Asia’s post-COVID world.

The report was released online today by APF Canada and captures 3,824 bilateral investment deals between Canada and Asia from 2003 to 2020 with a cumulative value C$447 billion.

In partnership with The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and with support from Export Development Canada, Invest in Canada, and the Government of British Columbia, the Investment Monitor supplements official statistics around Canada-Asia investment ties. It helps inform evidence-based policy-making and public discourse on the broader economic relationship between the two regions.

In its fifth year, the Investment Monitor turns its attention to the investment opportunities and challenges for Canadian companies in the Asia Pacific, particularly in digital, clean energy, and R&D-engaged industries. As the Investment Monitor continues to track, catalogue, and analyze bilateral investment flows, this year’s report provides unique analysis around Asia Pacific recovery strategies and their potential implications for Canadian companies.

“The global pandemic has highlighted the need for Canada to diversify its economic relationships beyond traditional partners and into new and emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region,” said APF Canada President and CEO, Stewart Beck. “The APF Canada Investment Monitor 2021 provides the necessary analysis to assist our policy-makers and stakeholders in making informed decisions in the post-COVID-19 recovery.”

Highlights of the Investment Monitor 2021: Report on Foreign Direct Investment and a Digital, Green, and Innovative Recovery include:

  • Canadian outbound FDI in the Asia Pacific region remains resilient despite the pandemic, increasing from C$11.5B in 2019 to C$16.7B in 2020, and it will be an important pillar for Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
  • Looking at stimulus packages and budgets in South Korea, India, Singapore, and Australia, there is a focus on digital, green, and innovation-led recovery. This focus aligns with the Canadian Industry Strategy Council’s recovery vision and presents potential investment opportunities for Canadian companies in these desired sectors of growth.
  • 2020 marks the second consecutive year of decreased value in inward FDI, from C$9B in 2019 to C$6.4B in 2020. However, the number of transactions has increased since 2019, from 164 to 181. 
  • The natural resources sector continues to receive the majority of the investment flow. In 2020, the mining sector was the largest recipient of FDI, with C$1.1B invested through 13 deals, though the oil and gas sector has received the most investment overall. 
  • Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec account for 94 per cent of Asia Pacific investment flow into Canada in the last 18 years. The two Western provinces, Alberta and British Columbia, alone account for 67 per cent of the total inbound flow.
  • While the majority of inbound investment from the Asia Pacific is directed towards Canada’s largest cities and towns, rural communities across Canada also saw significant amount inbound FDI. Since 2003, Asia Pacific investors has channelled C$42B of capital into 75 Canadian rural communities.

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The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada's relations with Asia. Learn more about the Foundation at www.asiapacific.ca

Media Contact:

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Michael Roberts, Communications Manager