IBM is out with its latest report on global location trends. I don’t think it will come as any surprise that of the roughly 22,000 jobs created in Canada from foreign companies in 2008, Ontario and Quebec accounted for about 13,000 of them. Ontario was the top province or state in North America for FDI jobs and Quebec was in the top 10. Alberta and BC are not mentioned but it is likely they made up most of the remaining foreign direct investment-related job creation. NB had a few international firms locate here in 2008 – Ocean Spray being the one of note- but nothing that significant. Even if we attracted our ‘share’ of national FDI, that would have meant around 500 new jobs in 2008.
I see that Ontario is pushing its FDI attraction strengths as a result of this IBM study.
IBM has an interesting section of the report called “New locations emerging as key contenders for investment”. These include Budapest, Cairo, Sofia, Casablanca – among others. I think it is important for a place like New Brunswick to understand the drivers that lead to being a ‘new location’ for investment and trying to align with these drivers.
It’s interesting to see that while Ireland has been sneered at lately because of their bubble bursting a bit it still had the highest number of new FDI related jobs in the world in 2008 (adjusted for population size). Canada was 19th.
Industry Canada should take note. If all Canadian provinces (not just Ontario and Quebec) were attracting a reasonable amount of FDI, it would lead to far better outcomes for the country as a whole. Attracting investment into Ontario and then skimming off some new taxes to send to Atlantic Canada in the form of Equalization is a decidedly second best solution.