Investments from pension funds accounted for 25 per cent of Canadian investment in the Asia-Pacific region between 2013 and 2017. Their share was up from just one per cent between 2003 and 2007, according to a new report.

The report, released by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, found that between 2003 and 2017, Canadian pension funds invested $25 billion in the region, with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec being the top three investors. The CPPIB was responsible for 73 per cent of all pension fund investment in the region, while the Ontario Teachers’ and the Caisse accounted for 13 and 10 per cent, respectively.

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“The pension funds are focusing their investments on key markets that contain an increasingly large share of the world’s middle-class consumers, such as India and China. As consumption grows in the world’s two most populous countries, the bottom line of Canadians’ retirement packages may benefit from the increased performance of the pension fund investments in these economies,” the report stated.

Australia, China and India have been the key areas of focus for Canadian investment in the region. Examples cited in the report include the CPPIB’s participation in a consortium to acquire Australia’s Port of Melbourne in 2016 for almost $10 billion.

Read: Why big pension funds love Australian ports

When it comes to activity in China, Canadian investors have shown a particular interest in finance-related investments over the last 15 years, according to the report. Finance accounted for $10 billion in investments, 39 per cent of which related to real estate. The energy sector was next, accounting for $6.3 billion of Canadian investment in China between 2003 and 2017, followed by industrial goods and services at $4.8 billion.

The report noted that in India, Canadian foreign direct investment activity often relates to new market opportunities, such as investments by the CPPIB in logistics.

Read: CPPIB invests $320 million in Hong Kong logistics partnership

“The centre of economic gravity has shifted to the Asia Pacific region, and Canada must understand the nature and scope of the unique opportunities that exist for investment,” said Stewart Beck, president and chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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