Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and nine members of his cabinet are in Toronto today to meet with some of the world’s most powerful institutional investors with trillions of dollars at their disposal.
The prime minister is hoping to persuade some two dozen representatives of large international pools of capital that Canada offers a stable economic and political environment in which to safely invest.
Those at the table will include representatives of central banks, sovereign wealth funds, insurers and pension funds whose combined assets are worth a staggering $21 trillion.
Attracting billions in private-sector capital for “transformative” infrastructure projects is key to the Liberal government’s long-term strategy to boost Canada’s sluggish economic growth.
The investors’ summit comes just two weeks after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced plans to launch an infrastructure bank next year, which the government pledged to pump $35 billion into over the coming decade.
In addition to the infrastructure bank, the government also intends to create a new Invest in Canada Hub for attracting foreign investment; and it plans to relax some restrictions on foreign investment.
Trudeau and four of the ministers are to make their pitch to about a dozen Canadian investors this morning before meeting with the international investors in the afternoon.
The summit is being hosted by the federal government but it has engaged BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, to organize the event. BlackRock’s legendary founder, Laurence Fink, is to be among the participants in the summit.
No specific projects have yet been identified for funding from the bank but Trudeau, Morneau and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi are expected to tell potential investors that toll bridges, energy grids and water systems could all be attractive investments for fund managers looking for predictable, long-term returns.