Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a company or individual in one country in business interests in another country, in the form of either establishing business operations or acquiring business assets in the other country, such as ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company.

Sault Ste. Marie proudly hosts a number of foreign-owned businesses, and the community embraces these companies with open arms.

These businesses receive the full support of City Council and staff, senior levels of government, the City of Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development team and the community at large. With this support and the competitive advantages found here, these international companies have thrived in Sault Ste. Marie.

Success stories include:

  • India-based Essar Group purchased Algoma Steel in 2007 ($1.63 billion purchase + $500 million investment), and operated the mill as Essar Steel Algoma until 2018 
  • KKR & Company, an American multinational private equity firm, purchased the 60-megawatt solar farms project in Sault Ste. Marie from Starwood Energy Group ($300 million investment) 
  • Brookfield Prince Windmill Project ($400 million investment) 
  • Tenaris Algoma Tubes, a manufacturer of seamless and welded steel pipe products, is owned by a conglomerate with ties to Argentina, Italy and Luxemburg ($30 million investment) 
  • Heliene Canada, a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, began operating thanks to a partnership between Helios Energy Europe and Canadian entrepreneurs ($6.5 million investment) 
  • Sutherland Global Services, a multinational company that employs 30,000 people worldwide in 10 countries, operated a business-process outsourcing (BPO) centre in Sault Ste. Marie from 2004-2019 
  • Arauco N.A., a leading global manufacturer of premium composite panels, plywood and other forest products, took over operations of the Flakeboard medium density fibreboard mill (following the $242 million purchase of Flakeboard company) 
  • Agero, a roadside assistance service provided on behalf of major U.S. car manufacturers, operated a contact centre in Sault Ste. Marie from 2004-2020 

Building Partnerships

Building partnerships between local businesses and the global market is crucial, particularly during challenging economic times when companies may have to find a new customer base to stay afloat and prosper.

For this reason, the City of Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development team focuses much attention on fostering international relationships, global logistics and regional partnerships. Its International Relations & Global Logistics Strategy consists of the following goals:

  • Generating and developing international relations, including the pursuit of a Global Transportation Gateway designation
  • Enhancing global logistics for business-to-business economic development opportunities
  • Establishing and maintaining sister-city arrangements/agreements and developing regional partnerships with Ontario's North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC) and the Michigan Upper Peninsula Economic Development Network
  • Creating import/export-related business and economic growth opportunities, including the development of inbound and outbound trade and exploratory missions
  • Responding as the contact for new clients with a specific need/interest in international export/import trade matters, including global logistics

Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie

Update to Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie: Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie is what we look forward to saying to you. Please contact our Economic Development team at to find out how Sault Ste. Marie makes sense for your company's operations. In the meantime, to learn more about our community, please continue exploring our website. 

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