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Marc R. Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Jan. 22, 2014.

RUBEN SPRICH/REUTERS

Salesforce will invest $2.5-billion in its Canadian business over the next five years, the enterprise software company announced Thursday, the same day Justin Trudeau visited its Silicon Valley headquarters.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based cloud computing and customer relations management company said it will increase its head count, real estate footprint and data centre capacity to support its growing customer base north of the border.

Salesforce currently employs more than 1,300 Canadians and more than 6,000 local companies use its services. It has been interested in expanding its international workforce to reach potential customers overseas. The company would not say how many jobs it would create through the investment.

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During a lunch-hour roundtable with local leaders, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told Trudeau he was thrilled to expand to Canada, and credited the Trudeau government for being able to make a "tremendous confident investment."

"We know that we're going to have a great business environment in Canada, we've got fantastic acquisitions there, as you know, we have a tremendous employment base of thousands of employees and tremendous customers," Benioff said during brief opening remarks to assembled cameras.

"We're very excited about that."

Trudeau suggested other companies should see the investment as vote of confidence in maintaining open borders.

"We know that being open to investment, highlighting our extraordinary diverse workforce that's willing to work hard, willing to innovate and create the future is what it's all about," Trudeau said.

The meeting was the first of several for Trudeau in San Francisco with tech sector executives, including with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Trudeau was also set to visit the offices of Silicon Valley technology company AppDirect, which announced it will create at least 300 jobs in Canada within the next five years as part of a global growth strategy. It has engineering offices in Montreal and Calgary and plans to launch a sales office in Toronto.

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