The number of foreign-owned enterprises increased by almost 5 percent in Los Angeles County in 2017 but the number of people employed and the estimated wages paid by those companies declined year-to-year, according to a report released May 18.

Foreign direct investment is when an overseas business or investor establishes a local business or operation in another country. In L.A. County, there were 4,912 “foreign-owned enterprises” in 2017, up 5 percent compared to 2016, according to a report by the World Trade Center LA, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy in Malibu.

“We believe that the increase in FOE firms in the region will have significant, positive impact to the regional economy,” Stephen Cheung, president of WTCLA, said in a statement.

However, the number of workers employed by the foreign-owned companies decreased 5.5 percent to 200,000 in 2017. Estimated wages decreased 4.5 percent from $13.2 billion to $12.6 billion, the report said.

The top three countries with the most business investments in the county are Japan, United Kingdom and Canada. The top local industries where the investment is directed include manufacturing, finance and professional business services, the report said.