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 Canadas strong economic fundamentals and pro-trade plan as part of the governments plan to create jobs and growth at home. The new investment are directed to the Florentines and Italians too.
Each year, more than 1,000 business leaders, from some of the worlds leading companies, participate in the WEF.
Canadas stock of foreign direct investment (in and out) in 2010 was equivalent to 74.6 percent of its gross domestic productthe 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.
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. Canadas Economic Action Plan, sound economic fundamentals and solid banking system helped Canada recover from the global economic crisis ahead of most industrialized countries.
In 2011, the Harper governments 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.
Throughout the global economic downturn, Canada proved to be a top-performing economy offering businesses opportunities to grow, innovate and succeed. The International Monetary Fund predicts that, after the United States, Canada will have the fastest economic growth in the G-7 in 2012. Canada has also recorded the fastest employment growth in the G-7 since mid-2009, fully recovering all the jobs lost during the recession.
Canada entered the global recession with a strong record of balanced budgets and low debt. Canada has the strongest fiscal position in the G-7 and among the best fiscal prospects in the G20. Canada is set to return to budgetary balance over the medium term. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 33.9 percent in 2010-11, and it is projected to decline to 31.7 percent by 2015-16.