Invest in Canada/Investir au Canada




Investment Strategy and Analysis Division, Office of the Chief Economist
Global Affairs Canada


Figure 1-1

Source: Consensus Forecasts, January 2017, Consensus Economics Inc.

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Real GDP Growth and Projections (%)

Despite the global slowdown, Canada’s economic prospects are strong, based on a consensus of forecasts.

According to Consensus Economics, Canada has been a strong performer among G7 countries in GDP growth during the 2012-15 period and is expected to remain so through 2016-18.

Figure 1-2

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No. 100, November 2016.

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Real GDP Growth and Projections (%)

Other forecasts also highlight Canada’s strong economy.

Similarly, recent OECD statistics rank Canada as a strong performer among G7 countries in terms of GDP growth from 2012-15 and during the 2016-18 forecast period.

Figure 1-3

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No.100, November 2016.

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Real GDP Growth in G7 Countries, 2006-2015 (%)

  • Canada: 1.7
  • Germany: 1.4
  • U.S.: 1.4
  • U.K.: 1.2
  • France: 0.9
  • E.U.: 0.7
  • Japan: 0.5
  • Italy: -0.5

And Canada leads G7 countries in long-term GDP growth.

Long-term real GDP growth statistics from the OECD place Canada at the top of the G7 over the last decade.

Canada’s real GDP growth is also well above the EU average.

Figure 1-4

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No.100, November 2016.

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Employment Growth (%)

  • Germany: 1.17
  • Canada: 1.08
  • U.K.: 0.82
  • U.S.: 0.51
  • France: 0.34
  • Japan: 0.03
  • Italy: 0.02

Canada also has strong employment growth...

Canada has recovered more than all of the jobs lost during the 2008-2009 recession.

Almost 1,550,900 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended in June 2009 and employment is about 1,124,400 above the pre-recession peak recorded in October 2008. Over 80% of the positions created since June 2009 have been full-time and in high-wage industries, with nearly 80% in the private sector.

Figure 1-5

*Forecasts for both countries

Source Canada: The Fall Economic Statement, Finance Canada, November 1, 2016

Source United States: United States Congressional Budget Office, August 23, 2016

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Federal Government Budgetary Balance
% of GDP

…a strong track record of fiscal responsibility…

From a balanced budget in 2015-16, Canada’s federal deficit, as  a percentage of GDP, is projected to rise from 1.2% in 2016-17 to 1.3% in 2017-18 as a result of short-term stimulus spending, before gradually declining to 0.6% by 2021-22.

In comparison, as a percentage of GDP, the budget deficit of the United States is projected to increase from 3.2% to

Figure 1-6

*Total government budget includes federal, provincial/state and municipal budgets.

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No.100, November 2016.

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Total Government Budget Balance* 2015-17
% of GDP | National Accounts Basis

…leading most other G7 countries…

Despite posting a deficit of 1.3% of its GDP in 2015, Canada’s fiscal position is still forecast to be better than most G7 countries during 2016-2017, with an overall deficit of 2.3% of GDP.

Figure 1-7

* Forecasts for both countries

Source Canada: The Fall Economic Statement, Finance Canada, November 1, 2016

Source United States: United States Congressional Budget Office, August 23, 2016.

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Federal-Debt-to-GDP Ratio

…a declining federal debt…

Since its peak of 68.4% of GDP in 1995-96, Canada’s federal-debt-to-GDP ratio has decreased to 31.1% in 2015-16 and is expected to rise to 31.9% in 2018-19 due to short-term stimulus spending, before gradually declining to 31.0% in 2020-21 and to 30.4% in 2021-22.

By comparison, the debt-to-GDP ratio of the United States is forecast to continue to increase, to more than 2.5 times Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio by 2021-22.

Figure 1-8

Source: IMF Fiscal Monitor, October 2016.

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General Government Net Debt 2015-16 (% of GDP)

…the lowest in the G7…

In 2015, Canada had the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 and the 2nd lowest in the G20 in 2015. It will continue to hold this standing during the 2016-2017 forecast period.

Figure 1-9

Sources: OECD Economic Outlook, No. 100, November 2016 and

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Year-Over-Year % Change

…a low inflation-rate regime…

A low-inflation environment provides business certainty to investors. The Bank of Canada will continue to target inflation at 2% for another five-year period.

During the past five years, Canada has enjoyed relatively low inflation– averaging 1.7% compared to 1.7% for the U.S. and 1.5% for the G7 as a whole.

Figure 1-10a

Source Canada: Government of Canada 10-Year Bond: January 20, 2017
Source U.S.: U.S. Treasury, Constant Maturity 10-Year Bond: January 20, 2017

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Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2011
Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2012
Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2013
Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2014
Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2015
Long-Term Bond Yields (%) - 2016

Figure 1-10b

Source Canada: Government of Canada 10-Year Bond: January 20, 2017
Source U.S.: U.S. Treasury, Constant Maturity 10-Year Bond: January 20, 2017

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Daily Yields (%)

 …low interest rates…

Canada’s solid fiscal situation and low inflation has led to lower interest rates.

Figure 1-11

* The Legatum Prosperity Index ranks countries based on 104 variables grouped into 9 sub-indexes which are averaged using equal weights. The sub-indexes are: economic quality; business environment; governance; education; health; safety & security: personal freedom, social capital and natural environment. Source: Legatum Institute, London, November 2016

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Legatum Prosperity Index* 2016
G7 Ranking

  1. Canada
  2. U.K.
  3. Germany
  4. U.S.
  5. France
  6. Japan
  7. Italy

…an overall environment of prosperity…

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index*, Canada ranks first in the G7, first in the G20 and fifth among 149 countries in terms of overall prosperity, based on material wealth and personal wellbeing.

Figure 1-12

Source: The Social Progress Imperative, July 2016.

* The Index is the sum of three dimensions: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. Each dimension is made up of four equally weighted individual components scored on an objective scale from 0–100. This scale is determined by identifying the best and worst global performance on each indicator by any country in the last 10 years, and using these to set the maximum (100) and minimum (0) bounds.

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Social Progress Index* G7 Ranking

  • Canada: 89.49
  • U.K.: 88.58
  • Germany: 86.54
  • Japan: 86.42
  • U.S.: 84.79
  • France: 84.62
  • Italy: 82.49

…and a high degree of social progress.

Canada ranks first in the G7, first in the G20 and second overall in a 133-country study of social progress – defined as a society’s capacity to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the foundations that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.

2. A Highly Competitive Business Environment

Figure 2-1

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit, January 2017

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Business Environment of the G7 Countries
Rank for Forecast Period 2017-2021

  1. U.S.
  2. Canada
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. U.K.
  6. Japan
  7. Italy

Canada is acclaimed by the EIU for its superior business climate…

Canada understands the importance of its business community and has created an environment to encourage its success.

Canada is the 2nd best country in the G7 for doing business over the next five years, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Canada ranks sixth among 82 countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global business rankings for the forecast period (2017-2021).

The country ranks well for its infrastructure, market opportunities, foreign trade and exchange and low tax rates.

Figure 2-2

*Chart based on analysis of country rankings. Country rankings are based on the following eleven categories of quantitative and qualitative indicators: trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights, innovation, technology, red tape, investor protection, corruption, personal freedom, tax burden and market performance.

Source: Forbes Publishing, December 2016.

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Top 10 Countries in the G20 for Business

  1. U.K.
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. Germany
  5. U.S.
  6. France
  7. S. Korea
  8. Japan
  9. Italy
  10. S. Africa

…and more recently by Forbes.

Canada ranked second in the G20 and stood tenth overall in Forbes’ latest 139-country annual study, The Best Countries for Business.

Canada ranks particularly well on several study elements, including degree of personal freedom (first overall) and red tape involved in starting a business (second overall).


Figure 2-3

Source: Global Infrastructure Investment Index, ARCADIS NV Consulting, May 2016

* Standing among 41 countries. Economic infrastructure is the core internal facility of a country than makes business activity possible, such as communication, transportation, distribution, finance and energy supply. These assets are fundamental to society and economic growth.

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Infrastructure Investment Index - G7 Ranking

  1. Canada
  2. U.S.
  3. U.K.
  4. Japan
  5. Germany
  6. France
  7. Italy

Canada has high potential for investment and growth in infrastructure.

Canada ranks first in the G7 and fourth overall in a recent study measuring a country’s potential for investment and growth in its economic infrastructure.*

Figure 2-4

Source: Doing Business in 2017 - The World Bank Group, 2016.

*A "procedure" is defined as any interaction of the company founder with external parties (government agencies, lawyers, auditors, notaries, etc). Interactions between company founders or company officers and employees are not considered as separate procedures. For example, an inauguration meeting where shareholders elect the directors and secretary of the company is not considered a procedure, as there are no outside parties involved

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Number of Procedures*

  • Canada: 2
  • U.K.: 4
  • France: 5
  • OECD Average: 5
  • Italy: 6
  • U.S.: 6
  • Japan: 8
  • Germany: 9

Establishing a business in Canada involves relatively few steps…

Regulations pertaining to the creation of new businesses are considerably more flexible in Canada than in other G7 countries.

Canada ranks first among the G7 and OECD countries for the lowest number of procedures required to establish a new business.

Figure 2-5

Source: Doing Business in 2017- The World Bank Group, 2016

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Time Required to Start a Business (days)

  • Canada: 1.5
  • France: 3.5
  • U.S.: 4.0
  • U.K.: 4.5
  • Italy: 6.5
  • OECD Average: 8.2
  • Germany: 10.5
  • Japan: 11.5

…and takes relatively less time.

In Canada, it takes fewer days to establish a new business than it does in any other G7 country.

Figure 2-6

*Sum of profit taxes, labour taxes and other taxes. Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Paying Taxes 2016

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Total Tax Rate* (% of commerical profit) 2016

  • Italy: 64.8
  • France: 62.7
  • Japan: 51.3
  • Germany: 48.8
  • U.S.: 43.9
  • U.K.: 32.0
  • Canada: 21.1

Canada offers the lowest total tax rate on profits in the G7…

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Paying Taxes report, Canada ranks first in the G7 and second in the G20 for the lowest overall amount of taxes paid by companies.

Figure 2-7

Source: OECD Tax Database, May 2016

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International Comparison of Statutory General Corporate Tax Rates in 2016

  • U.S.: 38.9
  • France: 34.4
  • Italy: 31.3
  • Germany: 30.2
  • Japan: 30.0
  • Canada: 26.7
  • U.K.: 20.0

…and relatively low corporate-tax rates.

Canada has the second-lowest statutory corporate-tax rate in the G7 as of 2016.

Figure 2-8

Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016

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Percentage Cost Advantage (Disadvantage) Relative to the United States

  • Canada: 14.6
  • Italy: 10.7
  • France: 9.5
  • U.K.: 9.1
  • Germany: 7.7
  • Japan: 7.3
  • U.S.: 0.0

Canada has the lowest business costs among G7 countries…

KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives study finds that Canada has the lowest business costs among G7 countries and a 14.6 percentage cost advantage relative to the United States.

Figure 2-9

Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016

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Percentage Cost Advantage (Disadvantage) Relative to the United States


  • Canada: 26.0
  • Italy: 16.5
  • U.K.: 14.4
  • France: 12.2
  • Japan: 11.2
  • Germany: 11.0
  • U.S.: 0.0

Research & Development

  • Canada: 27.7
  • France: 22.4
  • Italy: 21.0
  • Germany: 16.0
  • Japan: 12.8
  • U.K.: 11.9
  • U.S.: 0.0

…especially in the digital and research & development sectors.

Canada is the lowest cost G7 country in the digital and research & development sectors.

Of the two industries in the digital sector, Canada is the lowest-cost G7 country in both the digital entertainment and software design industries.

Among the industries comprising the research & development sector, Canada is the lowest-cost G7 country in all three: the biotechnology, product testing and clinical trials industries.

Figure 2-10

Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016

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Percentage Cost Advantage (Disadvantage) Relative to the United States


  • Canada: 9.7
  • Italy: 7.1
  • U.K.: 7.0
  • France: 6.5
  • Germany: 5.0
  • Japan: 5.0
  • U.S.: 0.0

Corporate Services

  • Canada: 26.1
  • Italy: 20.9
  • U.K.: 16.7
  • Germany: 16.1
  • France: 15.9
  • Japan: 15.7
  • U.S.: 0.0

Canada is also highly cost-competitive among the G7 in the manufacturing and corporate-services sectors.

Canada is the lowest-cost G7 country in the manufacturing sector and the corporate-services sector.

Canada is the lowest-cost G7 country in all 12 manufacturing-sector industries: aerospace, agri-food, automotive, chemicals, electronics, green energy, medical devices, metal components, pharmaceuticals, plastics, precision manufacturing and telecommunications.

Canada is the lowest-cost G7 country in both corporate-services sector industries: professional services and support services.

Figure 2-11

* A measure of the total taxes paid by corporations in a particular location expressed as a percentage of total taxes paid by corporations in the US.

Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016: Focus on Tax

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Percentage Advantage (Disadvantage) Relative to the United States

Tax Competitiveness

  • Canada: 47.6
  • U.K.: 35.5
  • Germany: 2.1
  • U.S.: 0.0
  • Japan: -9.2
  • Italy: -10.5
  • France: -36.6

Canada is the most tax-competitive G7 country…

Canada leads the G7 in tax competitiveness as measured by the relative total tax index,* with total taxes 47.6% less than those in the U.S.

Figure 2-12

*Standing among 148 countries. Ranking based on the degree of soundness of financial institutions. Source: Global Competitiveness Report, 2016-2017

** Standing among 500 world banks based on total assets and long-term credit ratings. Source: Global Finance Magazine, September 2016

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Soundness of Banks* World Rank

  1. Finland
  2. South Africa
  3. Canada
  4. New Zealand
  5. Australia
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Norway
  8. Singapore
  9. Chile
  10. Sweden

…and has sound financial institutions.

Investors can take comfort in the fact that Canada’s banking system is ranked 3rd in the world and is soundest in the G7.

Six of the world’s 50 safest banks are in Canada, according to a recent study: Toronto Dominion Bank (10th), Royal Bank of Canada (20th), Caisse Centrale Desjardins (34th), Scotiabank (38th), Bank of Montreal (40th) and CIBC (43rd).**

3. A Dynamic Workforce

Figure 3-1

Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, September 2016

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Percentage of Individuals Aged 25-64 Having Attained Tertiary Level Education - Top OECD Countries

  • Canada: 55.2
  • Japan: 49.5
  • Israel: 48.8
  • South Korea: 45.5
  • U.S.: 44.6
  • U.K.: 43.5
  • Australia: 42.9
  • Ireland: 42.8
  • Finland: 42.7
  • Norway: 42.7
  • Switzerland: 41.7

Canada has one of the world’s best-educated talent pools and some of the best universities…

Canada's talent pool is the most highly educated among OECD member countries, with over half of its population aged 25-64 having attained tertiary-level educations.

The 2016-2017 edition of the U.K.-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings places four Canadian universities among the top 100 in the world: McGill University 30th; University of Toronto 32nd; University of British Columbia 45th and the University of Alberta 94th.

Figure 3-2

Source: IMD

* Rank among 61 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016.

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Management Education Quality Index*

  • US: 7.74
  • Canada: 7.40
  • Germany: 7.03
  • UK: 6.63
  • Italy: 5.61
  • France: 4.91
  • Japan: 4.32

…superior management training…

Canada stands second in the G7 in a study measuring the extent to which management education meets the needs of the business community (see chart).

In addition, five Canadian schools of management rank among the top 100 in the world according to the Financial Times (UK) Global MBA rankings for 2016: University of Toronto (Rotman) 60th, McGill University (Desautels) 85th, Western University (Ivey) 88th, Queen’s University 93rd, University of British Columbia (Sauder) 96th

Figure 3-3

Source: IMD

* Rank among 61 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016.

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Qualified Engineers Availability Index*

  • Canada: 8.26
  • France: 7.88
  • Italy: 7.12
  • U.S.: 7.11
  • Japan: 7.01
  • U.K.: 6.18
  • Germany: 6.07

…and a readily available army of qualified engineers.

The availability of qualified engineers in the labour force in Canada is greater than in any other G7 country, according to a Institute for Management Development (IMD) survey .

Figure 3-4

PISA Score (Points – Standing Among G7 Countries)

United Kingdom498
United States497
United Kingdom509
United States496
United Kingdom492
United States470

Source: OECD: Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 – Released December 6, 2016

Canada is also a world leader in academic performance among youth…

Among the three subject areas (reading, science and mathematics) surveyed in the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Canadian schoolchildren rank first in the G7 in reading and second in each of science and mathematics.

Among the 72 countries and economies that participated in PISA 2015, Canadian schoolchildren ranked 3rd in reading, 9th in science and 10th in mathematics. The rankings compare to 9th, 10th and 13th, respectively, in 2012.

The annual PISA survey involves a total of over 540,000 pupils in 72 countries and evaluates the capacity of 15-year olds to understand and solve academic problems.

Figure 3-5

Bar Graph: Global Entrepreneurship Index* G7 ranking

*The Global Entrepreneurship Index ranks countries based on 3 sub-indices: entrepreneurial attitudes, entrepreneurial abilities and entrepreneurial aspirations standing on 14 pillars: opportunity perception, start-up skills, risk acceptance, networking, cultural support, opportunity start-up, technology absorption, human capital, competition, product innovation, process innovation, high growth, internationalization and risk capital.

Source: Global Entrepreneurship Index  2017 – The Global Entrepreneurship and  Development Institute, November 13, 2016

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Global Entrepreneurship Index*
G7 Ranking

  • U.S.: 83.4
  • Canada: 75.6
  • U.K.: 71.3
  • Germany: 64.9
  • France: 64.1
  • Japan: 51.7
  • Italy: 37.0

…and has one of the world’s best business climates for entrepreneurs.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index*—a measure of the health of a country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem—Canada ranks second in the G7 and third among 137 countries.

Canadian policymakers are better equipped than those in most economies to implement policies that support entrepreneurship innovation, productivity and job creation.

Figure 3-6

Source: IMD

* Rank among 61 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016.

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Personal Computers Per 1,000 Inhabitants

  • U.S.: 1144
  • Germany: 1018
  • Canada: 1013
  • U.K.: 994
  • France: 985
  • Italy: 904
  • Japan: 869

Internet Users Per 1,000 Inhabitants

  • U.S.: 890
  • Canada: 884
  • Japan: 875
  • Germany: 868
  • U.K.: 843
  • France: 840
  • Italy: 824

Canada is a leader in computer ownership and Internet use.

Canada has a technology-savvy population and workforce. It ranks second in the G7 for the number of Internet users per-capita and third in the G7 for the number of personal computers per capita.


Figure 4-1

Source: Warda, Jacek, Assessing changes to SR&ED and related policy instruments on Canada’s competitiveness for Foreign Direct Investment: November 22, 2013.

Note: Relative generosity is determined by dividing the after tax cost of performing $1.00 of R&D by 1 less the corporate tax rate.
Results are indexed to the relative generosity of Canada's system of tax-based support for R&D. The higher the ratio the more competitive the tax system.

* Calculations based on large firms, ** Pending new legislation proposal.

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Relative Generosity of R&D Tax Treatments*
(Index: Canada = 100.0)

  • France: 126.2
  • Canada: 100.0
  • Japan: 95.0
  • U.S.: 90.5
  • U.K.: 90.1
  • Germany: 81.2
  • Italy**: 81.1

Canada has one of the best R&D tax treatments in the G7...

Canada currently offers one of the most favorable tax treatments for R&D in the G7.

  • Canada provides a system of tax credits and accelerated tax deductions for a wide variety of R&D expenditures.
  • Eligible costs include: salaries, overhead and materials.

These tax policies permit firms to significantly reduce R&D costs through direct investment and sub-contracting in Canada.

Figure 4-2

Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2016, Volume 1, July 2016.

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R&D Investment in the Higher Education Sector, 2013

  • Canada: 0.65
  • Germany: 0.51
  • France: 0.46
  • Japan: 0.45
  • U.K.: 0.44
  • U.S. (2013): 0.39
  • Italy: 0.35

…and a high level of R&D investment in higher education…

Canada is a world leader in post-secondary research, outpacing other G7 countries on higher education investment.

Figure 4-3

Source: UNCTAD Stat Database, October 2016

Note: UNCTAD FDI stock data at market value, measured in US$

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  • U.K.: 52.6
  • Canada: 50.8
  • G7 Average: 29.8
  • Germany: 29.6
  • U.S.: 27.6
  • France: 27.4
  • Italy: 17.1
  • Japan: 3.7 an above-average investment environment...

Canada demonstrates strong FDI attraction performance as measured by FDI stock as a share of GDP.

Figure 4-4

* Standing based on three dimensions of investor protection: transparency of related party transactions, liability for self dealing, and shareholders’ ability to sue officers and directors for misconduct

Source: Global Innovation Index 2016, Cornell University, INSEAD Business School, and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

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Ease of Investor Protection* G7 Ranking

  1. U.K.: 78.3
  2. Canada: 76.7
  3. France: 65.0
  4. U.S.: 64.7
  5. Italy: 63.3
  6. Japan: 63.3
  7. Germany: 60.0

…with solid investor protection.

Canada ranks second in the G7 and sixth in a 128-country study measuring the ease of investor protection.

Figure 4-5

* At book value, $CAD

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0051, April 26, 2016

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Canada’s Inward and Outward FDI Stock ($Billion)

Canada’s globalized economy is driven by a dynamic two-way investment process…

Over the past decade, Canada has witnessed substantial growth in both inward and outward FDI, reflecting its strong connection to global supply chains.

Canada’s inward FDI stock reached C$768 billion in 2015, an almost two-fold increase from C$437 billion in 2006.

Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) increased from C$519 billion in 2006 to C$1,005 billion in 2015.

Figure 4-6

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Distribution of Canada’s FDI Stock by Major Regions, 2015 (%)
Major Regions2015
United States50.4
Asia and Oceania11.4
Latin America3.9

Share of Top 10 sources of FDI Stock in Canada, 2015, (%)

  • United States: 50.4
  • Netherlands: 11.6
  • Luxembourg: 7.9
  • United Kingdom: 4.5
  • Japan: 2.9
  • China: 2.7
  • Brazil: 2.6
  • Hong Kong 2.1
  • Germany: 1.8
  • Switzerland: 1.6
  • All others: 12.0

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0051, April 26, 2016

…with the United States as Canada’s largest source of FDI…

In 2015, the United States’ share of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada stood at 50.4%, demonstrating its confidence in Canada’s business climate.

Figure 4-7

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0052, April 26, 2016, * North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

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Share of Top 6 Industries in Canada’s FDI Stock, 2015, (%)

  • Manufacturing: 26.7
  • Mining and oil and gas: 20.6
  • Management of companies: 18.0
  • Finance and insurance: 12.8
  • Wholesale trade: 7.6
  • Retail trade: 5.1
  • All Others: 9.3

…and overall FDI geared toward industries with strong competitive advantages.

Almost 80% of foreign investment in Canada is in four main industries: manufacturing, mining and oil and gas extraction, management of companies and enterprises, and finance and insurance.

Figure 4-8

Source: UNCTAD Stat Database, October 2016

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Cumulative FDI Inflows Per Capita in the G7, 2011-2015 | $US

  • Canada: $7,420
  • U.K.: $3,696
  • U.S.: $3,474
  • France: $2,263
  • Germany: $1,739
  • Italy: $1,710
  • Japan: $17

Canada is also a leader in FDI attraction…

Since the financial crisis and ensuing global downturn, Canada has outperformed major global economies in attracting FDI: From 2011-2015, Canada was the largest recipient of per capita inflows among G-7 countries and the second largest in the G-20 following Australia.

Figure 4-9

*The 2016 index ranks 124 countries on 54 variables aggregated among five categories: Economic Fundamentals, Financial Services, Business Perception; Institutional Framework and International Standard and Policy. Each of the 5 categories measures an economic or institutional factor affecting the attraction of foreign direct investment.

Source: Milken Institute, September 2016

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Economic and Institutional factors for attracting FDI: G7 Ranking

  • Canada
  • U.K.
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • U.S.
  • France
  • Italy

…based on its strong economic and institutional environment
for FDI.

The Global Opportunity Index* ranks Canada’s economic and institutional factors for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) as best in the G7 and the G20, and second-best among all 124 countries surveyed.


Figure 5-1 

Source: Statistics Canada and Transport Canada, 2016 (* Preliminary data for 2015)

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Annual Transborder Crossings - 1983-1992
Total Number of Trucks and Canada-U.S. Air Passengers
(Two-way movements)
Annual Transborder Crossings - 1993-2002
Total Number of Trucks and Canada-U.S. Air Passengers
(Two-way movements)
Annual Transborder Crossings - 2003-2012
Total Number of Trucks and Canada-U.S. Air Passengers
(Two-way movements)
Annual Transborder Crossings - 2013
Total Number of Trucks and Canada-U.S. Air Passengers
(Two-way movements)

Canada has a streamlined trans-border transportation system…

The North American market is served by a well-integrated transportation system, which is among the world’s best.

  • Automated permit ports, transponder-identification systems and joint processing centres are being tested and deployed for easy movement of goods.
  • Bottom line: the border system is one of the world’s most efficient.

Figure 5-2

Map of North and Central America

* Source: IMF Fiscal Monitor, October 2016

…with direct access to the NAFTA market...

Canadian-based businesses have access to one market of nearly 480 million consumers with a combined GDP of almost US$21 trillion.*

Many Canadian production hubs are actually closer to U.S. markets than American production sites; 16 of Canada’s 20 largest cities are within a 1.5-hour drive of the U.S.

…and efficient transport linkages tying North America
to Asia and Europe.

A reliable and efficient transportation system is key to effective participation in global supply chains.

Canada’s Gateways offer an integrated and efficient transport network that spans from coast to coast, reaching deep into North America’s economic heartland. The Gateways’ strategic locations offer the most direct routes to and from Asia and Europe.

Sailing times from Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific deep-water ports are up to two days shorter than from other North American ports.

6. An Excellent Place to Live

Figure 6-1

Source: OECD June 2016

* Index based on weighted average of 11 topics (housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance) identified as essential by the OECD in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

Text Alternative Figure 6-1

Better Life Index* G7 Ranking

  • Canada: 7.75
  • U.S.: 7.66
  • Germany: 7.35
  • U.K.: 7.10
  • France: 6.45
  • Japan: 6.03
  • Italy: 5.81

Canada’s overall quality of life is one of the world’s best.

Canada ranks first in the G7 and fourth among the 34 OECD countries in terms of overall living conditions and quality of life.

Figure 6-2

Source: IMF Fiscal Monitor, October 2016.

Text Alternative Figure 6-2

Gross Domestic Product per Capita of G7 Countries 2015 (US$ Market Exchange Rates)

  • U.S.: $56,084
  • U.K.: $43,902
  • Canada: $43,280
  • Germany: $40,952
  • France: $37,654
  • Japan: $32,479
  • Italy: $29,867

Canada has one of the highest standards of living among G7 countries...

Canada has one of the world’s highest standards of living, ranking third in the G7 and fourth in the G20, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.

Figure 6-3

Source: Mercer Human Resources Consulting: March 2016

Text Alternative Figure 6-3

Overall Quality of Life Ranking (Top 25 Cities)

  • 1st - Vienna
  • 2nd - Zurich
  • 3rd - Auckland
  • 4th - Munich
  • 5th - Vancouver
  • 6th - Dusseldorf
  • 7th - Frankfurt
  • 8th - Geneva
  • 9th - Copenhagen
  • 10th - Sydney
  • 11th - Amsterdam
  • 12th - Wellington
  • 13th - Berlin
  • 14th - Bern
  • 15th - Toronto
  • 15th - Melbourne
  • 17th - Ottawa
  • 18th - Hamburg
  • 19th - Luxembourg
  • 19th - Stockholm
  • 21th - Brussels
  • 21th - Perth
  • 23th - Montréal
  • 24th - Stuttgart
  • 24th - Nurnberg

…an exceptional quality of life in its cities…

In a recent annual ranking of the quality-of-life in 230 cities, four Canadian cities are among the top 25.

Figure 6-4

Ranking based on the Reputation Institute's 2016 Country RepTrak(TM), an annual study measuring the public perceptions of 70 countries around the world. The study measures the overall Trust, Esteem, Admiration and Good Feelings the public holds towards these countries, as well as their perceptions across 16 different attributes, including a good quality of life, a safe place to live and a strong attention to their environment.

Source: Reputation Institute, New York, June 2016

Text Alternative Figure 6-4

Global Reputation* - Ranking of Top Ten Countries

  1. Sweden
  2. Canada
  3. Switzerland
  4. Australia
  5. Norway
  6. Finland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Ireland
  10. Netherlands

…and the best overall reputation on the global stage.

The Reputation Institute ranked Canada first among 70 countries based on several indicators, including a good quality of life, a safe place to live, an advanced economy, an effective government and an appealing environment.

Figure 6-5

*Standing among 163 countries. Index ranking countries based on peacefulness, both domestically and abroad using 22 indicators, including the number of soldiers killed overseas, the level of violent domestic crimes and relations with neighbouring countries

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, June 2016

Text Alternative Figure 6-5

Global Peace Index* G7 Ranking

  1. Canada
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. U.K.
  7. U.S.

Canada ranks high among model nations of peace…

According to the Global Peace Index, a recently released measure by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Canada stands first in both the G7 and the G20 and eighth among 163 countries surveyed.

Figure 6-6

*Standing among 167 countries. Index ranking countries based 60 indicators grouped in five different categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, April 2015

Text Alternative Figure 6-6

Democracy Index* G7 Ranking

  1. Canada
  2. Germany
  3. U.K.
  4. U.S.
  5. Japan
  6. France
  7. Italy

…and vibrant democracies

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, Canada stands first in both the G7 and G20, and seventh among 167 countries surveyed.

Figure 6-7

Source: IMD

*Confidence that person and property is protected. Rank among 61 economies considered in the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

**Degree of fairness of the judicial system in Society. Rank among 61 economies considered in the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

Text Alternative Figure 6-7

Security* – World Rank

  • Canada: 9.0
  • U.K.: 8.5
  • U.S.: 8.43
  • Germany: 8.25
  • Japan: 8.04
  • France: 7.48
  • Italy: 5.85

*Confidence that person and property is protected. Rank among 61 economies considered in the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

Justice** – World Rank

  • U.K.: 8.31
  • Canada: 8.26
  • Germany: 8.07
  • Japan: 7.83
  • U.S.: 7.33
  • France: 6.76
  • Italy: 3.77

Canada is also a safe and just society…

Canada is a G7 leader in terms of safe places to live and to conduct business under a fairly administered
judicial system.

Figure 6-8

Source: IMD

*Race, gender, family background does not pose a handicap for competitiveness. Rank among 61 economies considered in the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook

Text Alternative Figure 6-8

Equal Opportunity* — World Rank

  • Canada: 8.05
  • U.K.: 7.08
  • U.S.: 6.86
  • Japan: 6.41
  • Germany: 6.34
  • France: 6.18
  • Italy: 5.24

…a land of equal opportunity…

Canada ranks first among G7 countries in providing equal opportunities to individuals.

Figure 6-9

Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 and 2011 Census

* Based on mother tongue

Text Alternative Figure 6-9
Language Distribution in Canada* (% of Population)

…and a society rich in multiculturalism.

Canada has one of the world’s most multilingual societies with over 200 languages identified as the mother tongue

There has been an overall increase in the proportion of Canadians whose mother tongue is neither English nor French from 18.0% in 2001 to 20.6% in 2011.

Canada — Solid Reasons to Invest

Canada’s economic fundamentals and relative cost advantages provide a first-rate business environment. Canada offers:

Excellent Economic Fundamentals

  • Low inflation and low interest rates
  • One of the strongest economies in the G7

A Highly Competitive Business Environment

  • Ease in establishing and conducting a new business
  • Competitive business costs
  • Competitive tax system
  • Strong financial and technological environment

A Dynamic Workforce

  • One of the world’s best-educated internationally-oriented workforces
  • Quality management training
  • Technology-savvy workers

A Promising Venue for Innovation and Investment

  • Generous R&D tax policies
  • World leader in post-secondary research

Easy Access to Markets

  • Geography and NAFTA provide easy access to the world’s most prosperous markets
  • Highly efficient transportation linkages with Asia and Europe

An Excellent Place to Live

  • Superb overall quality of life
  • A society rich in multiculturalism

Invest in Canada

Through Canadian diplomatic missions around the world, and with direct access to investment contacts at national, provincial and municipal levels within Canada, the Invest in Canada Bureau of Global Affairs Canada is well positioned to assist you with your investment in Canada. We invite you to start exploring all that Canada has to offer at:

For further information, please contact our investment specialists at your local Canadian Embassy, High commission or consulate:

Or write to us at:

Think Canada! is prepared by Arif Mahmud, Investment Strategy and Analysis Division, Office of the Chief Economist, Global Affairs Canada