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Foreign firms in Canada: recent trends

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Of the nearly 1.3 million corporations doing business in Canada in 2006, less than 1% were foreign-controlled—a proportion that has changed little over time. However, in 2006, foreign-controlled firms accounted for about 30% of operating revenue and 27% of operating profits, or $78.4 billion.

The United States continued to be the most common country of origin of foreign controlled enterprises operating in Canada. In 2006, U.S.-based firms controlled 54% of all assets held by foreign-based firms; British firms controlled 13%; Netherlands firms, 7%, German firms, 6%; French firms, 4%; and Japanese firms, 4%.

Foreign control is more prevalent in the non-financial industries than in the finance and insurance industries. In the nonfinancial industries, 26% of assets were under foreign control in 2006, compared with 16% in the finance and insurance industries. This gap is largely the result of regulations governing foreign control in the finance and insurance industries, particularly in banking.