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

Foreign control in the Canadian economy, 2014

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: 2016-08-22

In 2014, the value of assets, revenue and profits in the Canadian economy increased from 2013. Over that same period, foreign-controlled shares of assets and revenue were down slightly, while the foreign-controlled share of profits was unchanged.

From 2005 to 2014, the shares of assets and revenue of foreign-controlled enterprises were relatively stable. Asset shares fluctuated from a high of 21.6% in 2007 to a low of 18.1% in 2014, while revenue shares ranged from 30.1% in 2008 to 28.7% in 2014.

Foreign-controlled profit shares varied slightly more over the 10-year period, reaching a high of 28.7% in 2005 and a low of 20.1% in both 2013 and 2014.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Share of assets, operating revenue and operating profits under foreign control
Share of assets, operating revenue and operating profits under foreign control

Canadian-controlled (+6.8%) and foreign-controlled (+5.6%) asset values both increased in 2014. The share of foreign-controlled assets edged down from 18.3% in 2013 to 18.1% in 2014.

Foreign-controlled revenue grew 4.2%, while revenue for enterprises under Canadian control rose 6.3%. The share of revenue under foreign control was 28.7% in 2014, down from 29.1% in 2013.

Operating profits were up for both Canadian-controlled (+7.2%) and foreign-controlled (+7.7%) enterprises in 2014, and the share of profits under foreign control remained at 20.1%.

Non-financial industries

Among non-financial industries, the share of assets under foreign control was 25.6% in 2014, down slightly from 25.7% a year earlier, while the share of operating revenue under foreign control declined from 30.3% to 30.0%. The share of foreign-controlled operating profits was unchanged from the previous year at 23.3%.

Manufacturing remained the largest sector in terms of non-financial assets. It also had the largest share of foreign-controlled assets, at 49.6% in 2014, up from 48.9% in 2013. This increase followed five consecutive years of decline.

The value of manufacturing assets under Canadian control rose 2.8%, while that of manufacturing assets under foreign control was up 5.6%.

Both foreign-controlled (+5.6%) and Canadian-controlled (+0.8%) manufacturers recorded revenue growth in 2014. The share of revenue under foreign control rose to 51.8%.

Profits of Canadian-controlled manufacturers were up 11.7%, and those of foreign-controlled manufacturers rose 23.6%. The share of manufacturing profits under foreign control increased from 51.1% in 2013 to 53.6% in 2014.

Enterprises in the oil and gas extraction sector recorded a $6.3 billion gain in profits in 2014, following a $2.6 billion increase the previous year. Profits of Canadian-controlled enterprises rose 82.8%, while those of enterprises under foreign control decreased 1.3%. These changes led to a decrease in the foreign-controlled share of profits in this sector, down from 34.7% in 2013 to 22.3% in 2014.

Finance and insurance industries

In finance and insurance industries, foreign-controlled enterprises accounted for 12.0% of assets in 2014, down slightly from 12.2% in 2013. Foreign enterprises held 17.1% of revenue, down from 17.7%, and 12.5% of operating profits, down from 13.2%.

Assets among Canadian-controlled enterprises in the financial sector increased 7.2% in 2014, while those under foreign control posted a 5.2% gain.

Revenue for Canadian-controlled enterprises rose 12.2% in 2014, compared with a 7.6% increase in revenue under foreign control.

Operating profits for Canadian-controlled enterprises in the financial sector fell 1.4% in 2014, while foreign-controlled profits declined 7.6%.

Foreign control by country

US-controlled enterprises continued to account for the largest share of assets, revenue and profits under foreign control in 2014. Their share of foreign-controlled assets decreased slightly from 49.8% in 2013 to 49.5% in 2014, while their share of revenue declined from 56.9% to 55.5% and their share of profits fell from 60.2% to 57.4%.

The value of US-controlled assets in the non-financial sector was 2.4 times higher than that of US-controlled assets in the financial sector in 2014.

Enterprises controlled from the United Kingdom reported a relatively stable share of foreign-controlled assets in 2014, at 13.8%, while their share of revenue rose from 8.2% in 2013 to 8.5% in 2014 and their share of profits fell from 8.2% to 5.6%. In contrast to US-controlled assets, British-controlled assets were more concentrated in the financial sector, with a value 2.3 times greater than in the non-financial sector.

Dutch-controlled enterprises represented the third largest share of foreign-controlled assets in 2014, at 4.9%. Dutch-controlled assets in the non-financial sector were about 1.6 times the size of those in the financial sector in 2014.

  Note to readers

Under the authority of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Statistics Canada administers the Corporations Returns Act, which requires the collection of financial and ownership information on corporations conducting business in Canada. This information is used to evaluate the extent of non-resident control of the Canadian corporate economy.

The Corporations Returns Act requires that an annual report be submitted to Parliament summarizing the extent to which foreign control is prevalent in Canada. The document being released today is the report for reference year 2014.

These statistics are compiled from enterprise level data. An enterprise can be a single corporation or a family of corporations under common ownership or control, for which consolidated financial statements are produced.

Three components are used to measure foreign control: assets, operating revenue and operating profits.

Asset-based measures of foreign control provide a longer term perspective. Assets are a stock item, reflecting economic decisions and market conditions that evolve more slowly over time.

Revenue-based measures, on the other hand, represent a flow item and are closely tied to the business cycle. Revenue tends to reflect current business conditions, causing them to be more volatile than asset-based measures.

Profits are a measure of the financial health and well-being of an economy and can be used to assess its performance and sustainability.


The report Corporations Returns Act, 2014 (Catalogue number61-220-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 of this release, contact Jason Leonard (613-951-5593;, Industrial Organization and Finance Division.

Date modified: