The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Study: Activities of Canadian majority-owned affiliates abroad, expanded measures, 2012 (provisional estimates)

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2015-09-15

Canadian companies are increasingly engaged in the global economy. Consequently, the demand for more detailed information on their international activities is growing.

Outward foreign affiliate statistics describe the activities and the financial position of Canadian majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) by going beyond the traditional foreign direct investment statistics.

MOFAs are defined as foreign entities where a Canadian direct investor owns more than 50% of the voting shares. Statistics Canada has expanded the detail level of published statistics related to the activities of Canadian MOFAs abroad. The end result of this initiative is presented in this study, which reviews the concepts and recent data development work that has been undertaken with respect to the outward foreign affiliate statistics program. The study also provides a first look at the expanded details in the form of provisional estimates for the 2012 reference year.

In 2012, Canadian firms, through their MOFAs, employed 1.25 million employees worldwide and generated global sales of $519 billion. They had established foreign affiliates in over 100 countries, the most significant of which were the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, Germany and Australia.

The assets of Canadian MOFAs totalled $2.8 trillion dollars in 2012. These assets were heavily concentrated in the finance and insurance sector, which accounted for around 68% of total assets. The mining and oil and gas sector had the next largest share with 12%.

  Note to readers

Majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) are defined as foreign entities where a Canadian direct investor owns more than 50% of the voting shares. Statistics Canada collects data on MOFAs within the framework of its annual outward foreign direct investment survey.

The provisional estimates presented in this study are an example of the expanded statistics that will be included in the official release of data on activities of Canadian majority-owned affiliates abroad. These expanded statistics will be published on December 8, 2015, and will include data for the reference years from 2011 to 2013. Foreign affiliate statistics will continue to be improved and revised in the coming years, in particular with respect to geographical details.


The article "Activities of Canadian majority-owned affiliates abroad, expanded measures – Provisional estimates for reference year 2012," which is part of the Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality associated with this release, please contact Marc Atkins (613-790-7339;, International Accounts and Trade Division

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: