Ottawa, December 13, 2022—A digitalization surge in the Canadian economy during COVID created significant market growth and increased Canada’s ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to its digital economy; maintaining this momentum could require more robust digital infrastructure and some financial and policy adjustments. 

Canada’s digital economy remained resilient during the pandemic. Amid widespread economic contraction in 2020, the ICT sector expanded by 1.6%, and by a further 4.7% in 2021.  

Global FDI flows initially shrank early in the pandemic but recovered soon thereafter and was up 77% by 2021, compared to 2020. In Canada, FDI also saw impressive growth in 2021, with an annual gross inflow of over $75 billion, second only to the U.S. amongst OECD member countries. 

A new study by ICTC, Attracting FDI Toward Canada’s Digital Economy: COVID-19 and Beyond, looks at how COVID-19 and other prominent trends affect Canada’s ability to attract FDI to its digital economy. It includes a discussion of the digital transformation of traditional sectors, the opportunities in Canada’s transition to greener energy and a net-zero future, and provides a wider strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis for Canadian digital economy FDI.  

“Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can greatly advance sustainable development, support the domestic SME ecosystem, create jobs, provide access to international channels, and heighten competition. A critical catalyst for a strong and innovative market economy.” — Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years. 

To arrange an interview on this study or for other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823. 

This study was funded by  Invest in Canada.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French language press release of this report is here.

To cite this report:

Cutean, A., Hamoni, R., Kotak, A., Ye, Z. “Attracting FDI Toward Canada’s Digital Economy: COVID-19 and Beyond.” November 2022. Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). Ottawa, Canada.

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