Canadians investing offshore grows sharply

15 Mar

Northwest Crown Fire Experiment, Northwest Territories, Canada - offshore investingOTTAWA – Canadian investment in offshore financial centres, including so-called “tax havens,” shot up eight-fold between 1990 and 2003, Statistics Canada reported Monday.

Between 1990 and 2003, Canadian assets in those countries went from $11 billion to $88 billion. They accounted for more than one-fifth of all Canadian direct investment abroad in 2003, double the proportion 13 years earlier.

The largest growth in Canadian direct investment during the time was in Barbados, Ireland, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.

The average annual rate of growth of Canadian direct investment in offshore financial centres hit 18 per cent, compared with eight per cent in the United States and 14 per cent in other countries.

While offshore investing has risen, the share of Canadian direct investment going to the United States, Canada’s top trading partner, declined considerably. Since 2000, Canadian companies have held fewer assets in the United States than in all other countries combined.

“Canadian direct investment (investing offshore) abroad is diversifying,” said StatsCan.

“The share held in the United States and the United Kingdom – Canada’s historical partners – fell from 75 per to 51 per cent between 1990 and 2003.”

Source: CBC News

Canada, stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, is filled with vibrant cities including massive, multicultural Toronto; predominantly French-speaking Montréal and Québec City; Vancouver and Halifax on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, respectively; and Ottawa, the capital. It’s also crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast swaths of protected wilderness.

Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains and invites outdoor pursuits of all kinds, but also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.

Canadians have been investing offshore for as long as there was another shore.

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