Investment in Canada on the rise
Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (DFI) into Canada has increased significantly in the last several years, said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the largest bank in Canada.
Ferley spoke on Tuesday at a briefing on the outlook for the US and Canadian economies, and the impact of China, with a group of Chinese-Canadian media representatives and real estate professionals.
“Over the past five years, Chinese DFI flows into Canada have increased by over $10 billion,” said Ferley. “Data through 2012 indicates investment flows from Asia rose strongly in the mining sector, though trended lower in manufacturing.”
According to Ferley, FDI from Asia continues to flow into mining, oil and gas extraction and “management of companies and enterprises” though with reduced investment in manufacturing. Canada’s trade deficit with China increased in 2014 after years of stabilization as export growth failed to keep pace with higher imports.
China is by far Canada’s secondlargest trading partner in terms of bilateral trade, with the share growing between 2013 and 2014, and is second only to the US in both imports from and exports to China.
As a percentage of overall FDI, funds coming from China remain a small share — 3.4 percent — of overall foreign investment in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.
Ferley also addressed Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with China, which increased in 2014 after years of stabilization.
Export growth failed to keep pace with higher imports, “while twoway trade in services has also been growing steadily, with growth in services exports to China recently starting to outpace Canadian imports of services from China, resulting in Canada running a trade surplus in services over the last two years through 2013,” Ferley added.
The top five of six Canadian exports to China are resource-based goods, including pulp, paper and paperboard, oil seeds, mineral ores, wood and wood products, mineral fuels, machinery and mechanical appliances.
The top Chinese exports to Canada are electrical products and machinery and, to a lesser extent, consumer goods, including electrical and electronic material and equipment, machinery and mechanical appliances, furniture, toys, games, sporting goods and knitted and woven clothing.
Donna O’Reilly, RBC regional vice-president of commercial banking for Greater Toronto, said that the economic briefing was a good way to celebrate the strong economic and social bond between Canada and the Chinese community.
“Our country is shaped by the more than one million people of Chinese descent who have made Canada home over the years,” said O’Reilly. “Whether it’s serving new Canadians or members of the community who’ve been here for generations, we’re honoured to have provided financial advice to the Chinese-Canadian community for almost 90 years.”
Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist of RBC bank, gives a presentation on the current Canadian economy, with a focus on Canadian economic relations with China at a media brief on Tuesday in Richmond Hill.