Business Environment in Canada
After declining due to global recession, Canada's GDP has rebounded with growth estimated at over 3% in 2010 due to the stimulus package, the recovery of foreign trade and the newfound confidence of Canadian households. The growth rate should slow down in 2011, reflecting among others the end of the stimulus measures and a lower household consumption, which are facing increased levels of debt.
After the beginnings of a recovery, the emphasis is now on structural reforms. The government's priority is to consolidate its budgetary position, which in some provinces the crisis has worsened to alarming proportions. Plans to cut spending have been developed. Health reform also figures at the forefront, as well as a reform of the system of unemployment benefits.
In fact, even though Canada is a rich country with a very good living standard, it now has to deal with a worrying growth of its unemployment rate, which was estimated at 8 % in 2010.
|GDP (billions USD)||1,336.07||1,574.05||1,737.27e||1,809.32e||1,875.14e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-2.5||3.1e||2.8||2.6||2.5|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||39,683||46,215||50,265||51,572||52,662|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-3.2||-4.0e||-3.6e||-2.2||-1.4e|
|Inflation Rate (%)||0.3||1.8e||2.2||1.9e||2.0|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||8.3||8.0e||7.6e||7.3e||6.7|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-36.13||-40.04||-40.47||-39.50e||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-2.7||-2.6||-2.5||-2.3||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Accounting for almost two thirds of the GDP, the service sector dominates the Canadian economy. Its most dynamic areas are: telecommunications, tourism, Internet (almost 65% of Canadian households regularly use the Internet) and the aeronautical industry.
The agricultural sector represents a little more than 2% of the GDP and employs less than 2% of the population. Canada is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products in the world, wheat in particular. It produces 10% of the world's GMO harvests. Fishing is an important sector. Canada is one of the main producers of minerals, namely nickel, zinc and uranium. The country also has large reserves of oil and natural gas.
Canada has 6 strong sectors of primary industry: renewable energies (mainly wind), forestry sector, hydrogen and fuel cells, mines, metals and minerals, fishing, oil and gas. The manufacturing sector represents approximately a third of the GDP.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||2.5||21.6||75.9|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||1.6||31.8||66.5|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-9.5||-10.1||0.6|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Canadian dollar (CAD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||1.21||1.13||1.07||1.07||1.14|
Source: World Bank
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Foreign Trade in Figures
Canada is a country open to outside and trade represents more than 60 % of its GDP.
The United States takes about 80% of Canadian exports. Canada is the United States' biggest foreign energy supplier, including the supply of oil, gas, uranium and electric power. Its other main trading partners are the European Union, Japan, China and Mexico.
As an effect of the global economic crisis, the Canadian trade balance has turned negative, as exports were falling quickly and imports began to recover much less rapidly. Exports have been stagnating in 2010, while imports have risen, thus creating a trade deficit.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||359,000||390,188||419,011||329,905||401,540|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||388,178||420,693||456,471||316,724||387,155|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||71,841||81,723||87,953||77,579||89,383|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||58,880||63,785||66,378||57,476||66,302|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||4.9||5.9||1.2||-13.9||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||0.7||-||-||-||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||33.6||33.0||33.7||30.4||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||36.1||35.0||35.3||28.7||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||43,655||43,770||45,009||-4,246||-|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||44,794||41,900||42,431||-||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||69.8||68.0||69.0||59.1||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|United Arab Emirates||0.3%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||14.2%|
(% of Imports)
|Canada This flow is explained by the way local Customs Authorities report trade with overseas or special territories (e.g. Hong Kong or Taiwan in the case of China, French West Indies in the case of France, etc) as well as the treatment of re-imported (or re-exported) products, which get out (or enter) of the country for a limited time, with the intention of being re-imported (or re-exported) without significant transformation overseas.||1.0%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||27.0%|
Sources of General Economic Information
Treasury Board of Canada
Department of Finance Canada
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC)
- Statistical Office
- Central Bank
Bank of Canada
- Stock Exchange
Montreal Stock Exchange
Canadian Stock Review
TSX Group - Toronto Stock Exchange
- Search Engines
La Page Montréal
La Toile du Québec
- Economic Portals
Quebec social economy
Canadian Arboriginals Portal
Libraries of the UQAM
Canoe - Portal for information on news and entertainment
- Executive Power
- Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State. She appoints the Governor General of the country for 5 years. The Governor General appoints the Prime Minister as well as the Ministry (however, this is chosen by the Prime Minister). The Prime Minister is the head of the government. He holds the executive power. The leader of the majority party or coalition in the House of Commons is automatically chosen to be Prime Minister. The Prime Minister and his Ministry stay in power as long as they have the support of the majority in the House of Commons.
- Legislative Power
- The legislative power in Canada is composed of a two-chamber federal parliament made up of: the Senate (upper house) whose members are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister; the House of Commons (lower house), whose members are elected by universal suffrage. The Governor General calls a general election when the Prime Minister advises him to do so. Most legislative practices are derived from the British Parliament.
- Main Political Parties
- The four main parties in Canada are: the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC), the New Democratic Party (NDP), and the Bloc Québécois.
- Current Political Leaders
- Governor General: David Johnston (since October 2010)
Prime Minister: Stephen HARPER (since February 2006) – Conservative Party
- Next Election Dates
- House of Commons: January 2011
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 6 places up compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.
This report is a practical guide for U.S. food exporters interested in the Canadian market, highlighting consumer and product trends, market sector reports
Foreign Agricultural Service on 11 Jan 2013 related to Business Environment in Canada
Bouncing back from its first recession since 1992, Canada, after a 3.2% growth in 2010, recorded further expansion of 2.4% last year.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 30 Sep 2012 related to Business Environment in Canada
U.S. companies looking to explore new markets to expand their international portfolios need to consider the tremendous business opportunities offered in Canada.
Bedjasses on 26 Jun 2012 related to Business Environment in Canada
A Commercial Guide for U.S. companies doing business in Canada.
U.S. Commercial Service on 22 Feb 2012 related to Business Environment in Canada
The country’s healthy banking and financial system continued to support domestic business and consumers, while the recuperating external demand, especially from the US in the early part of 2011, and a
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 29 Jan 2012 related to Business Environment in Canada
The United States and Canada share the world's longest common border, which runs 5,525 miles long and hosts over one hundred border crossings.
Bedjasses on 4 Jan 2010 related to Business Environment in Canada
A short explanation about what could affect the Canadian economy and the last updates
Waleed Dirani, Future Horizon Global Center on 31 May 2011 related to Business Environment in Canada
Internationalization Consulting, BrazilHow2Go specializes in bilateral internationalization of companies from Europe and America, formed by a team of...
Part of USDA, the United StatesThe Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to improve foreign market...
Government Trade Promotion, Hong Kong SAR
Egyptian manufacturer for Mattresses, pillows, ..., Canada
US GovTrade Promotion, the United States