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, December 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 2013-16 period and is expected to lead the G7 through 2017-18.

Figure 1-2

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No. 102, November 2017.

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Real GDP Growth and Projections (%)

Other forecasts also highlight Canada’s strong economy…

Similarly, according to the OECD, Canada’s real GDP growth from 2013-2016 ranked high among G7 countries and is forecast to be the highest in the G7 in 2017-2018.

Figure 1-3

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No.102, November 2017.

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Real GDP Growth in G7 Countries (%)

  • Canada: 1.6
  • U.S.: 1.4
  • Germany: 1.3
  • U.K.: 1.2
  • France: 0.7
  • E.U.: 0.6
  • 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

Sources: OECD Economic Outlook, No.102, November 2017 and Statistics Canada, CANSIM tables 282-0087 and 282-0089, December 1, 2017.

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Average Annual Employment Growth (%)

  • Germany: 1.22
  • Canada: 0.99
  • U.K.: 0.86
  • U.S.: 0.49
  • France: 0.33
  • Japan: 0.12
  • Italy: 0.02

Canada also has strong employment growth...

Canada’s employment performance since 2007 has been a strong second in the G7.

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

Almost 1,894,800 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended in June 2009 and employment is about 1,468,300 above the pre-recession peak recorded in October 2008. Over 80% of the positions created since June 2009 have been full-time with over 80% in the private sector.

Figure 1-5

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

Source: OECD Economic Outlook, No.102, November 2017.

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Total Government Budget Balance* 2016-18
% of GDP | National Accounts Basis

…strong fiscal performance…

Despite posting a deficit of 1.9% of its GDP in 2016, Canada’s fiscal position is still forecast to be better than most G7 countries during 2017-2018, with an overall deficit of 1.5% of GDP.

Figure 1-6

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2017.

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General Government Net Debt 2016-18 (% of GDP)

…the lowest net debt in the G7…

In 2016, Canada had the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 and the 2nd lowest in the G20 in 2016. It will continue to hold this standing during the 2017-2018 forecast period.

Figure 1-7

Sources: OECD Economic Outlook, No.102, November 2017  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 1.4% compared to 1.3% for the U.S. and 1.1% for the G7 as a whole.

Figure 1-8

* 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 2017

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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 eighth among 149 countries in terms of overall prosperity, based on material wealth and personal wellbeing.

Figure 1-9

Source: The Social Progress Imperative, June 2017.

* 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: 89.8
  • U.K.: 88.7
  • Germany: 88.5
  • Japan: 86.4
  • U.S.: 86.4
  • France: 85.9
  • Italy: 82.6

…and a high degree of social progress.

Canada ranks first in the G7, first in the G20  and sixth overall in a 128-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, December 2017

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Business Environment of the G7 Countries
Rank for Forecast Period 2018-2022

  1. Germany
  2. Canada
  3. U.S.
  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 both the G7 and the G20 for doing business over the next five years, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Canada ranks seventh among 82 countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global business rankings for the forecast period (2018-2022).

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 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 2018 - The World Bank Group, November 2017.  *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: 5.1
  • Italy: 6
  • U.S.: 6
  • Japan: 9
  • 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 2018- The World Bank Group, November 2017

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Time Required to Start a Business (days)

  • Canada: 1.5
  • France: 3.5
  • U.K.: 4.5
  • U.S.: 5.6
  • Italy: 6.5
  • OECD Average: 9.0
  • Germany: 10.5
  • Japan: 12.2

…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

* calculated as sum of profit (corporate) taxes, labour taxes and other taxes as a percentage of commercial profit (profit excluding all taxes paid)

Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  Paying Taxes 2017

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Total Effective Tax Rate* (% of commercial profit) 2017

  • France: 62.8
  • Italy: 62
  • Japan: 48.9
  • Germany: 48.9
  • U.S.: 44
  • U.K.: 30.9
  • Canada: 21

Canada offers the lowest total effective tax rate in the G7…

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Paying Taxes 2017 report, Canada ranks first in the G7 and second in the G20, for the lowest total effective taxes borne by companies.

Figure 2-7

Source: OECD Tax Database, April 2017

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Statutory General Corporate Income Tax Rates in the G7, 2017

  • U.S.: 38.9
  • France: 34.4
  • Germany: 30.2
  • Japan: 30.0
  • Italy: 27.8
  • Canada: 26.7
  • U.K.: 19.0

…including relatively low corporate income tax rates...

Canada has the second-lowest statutory corporate income tax rate in the G7 in 2017.

Figure 2-8

* 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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Total tax index*

  • Canada: 52.4.6
  • U.K.: 64.5
  • Germany: 97.9
  • U.S.: 100
  • Japan: 108.2
  • Italy: 110.5
  • France: 136.6

…making Canada the most tax-competitive country in the G7.

Canada’s tax competitiveness is further verified  by KPMG’s Total Tax index* which shows Canada  with a total tax index at 52.4%, lowest in the G7.

Figure 2-9

Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016

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Percentage Cost Advantage Relative to the United States, G7 Countries

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

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.

Canada’s cost advantage ranges from 3.9% for Italy (14.6%-10.7%) to14.6% for the United States.

Figure 2-10

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.: baseline

Research & Development

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

…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 2-11

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.: baseline

Corporate Services

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

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 2-12

*Standing among 137 countries. Ranking based on the degree of soundness of financial institutions. Source: Global Competitiveness Report, 2017-2018

** Standing among 500 world banks based on total assets and long-term credit ratings. Source: Global Finance Magazine, September 2017

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Soundness of Banks*
World Rank

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

…and has sound financial institutions.

Investors can take comfort in the fact that Canada’s banking system is ranked 2nd in the world and is soundest in the G7.

Five of the world’s 50 safest banks are in Canada, according to a recent study**: Toronto Dominion Bank (19th), Royal Bank of Canada (23th), Caisse Centrale Desjardins (34th), Scotiabank (48th), Bank of Montreal (50th)

3. A Dynamic Workforce

Figure 3-1

Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, September 2017

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

  • Canada: 56.3
  • Japan: 50.5
  • Israel: 49.9
  • S. Korea: 46.9
  • U.K.: 46.0
  • U.S.: 45.7
  • Australia: 43.7
  • Finland: 43.6
  • Norway: 43.0
  • Luxembourg: 42.9
  • Ireland: 42.8

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 2017-2018 edition of the U.K.-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings places four Canadian universities among the top 100 in the world: University of Toronto 31st; McGill University 32nd; University of British Columbia 51st and the University of Alberta 90th.

Figure 3-2

Source: IMD,  * Rank among 63 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook  2017.

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Management Education Quality Index*

  • US: 7.59
  • Canada: 7.44
  • Germany: 6.95
  • UK: 6.51
  • France: 6.18
  • Italy: 5.97
  • Japan: 4.69

…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, three Canadian schools of management rank among the top 100 in the world according to the Financial Times (UK) Global MBA rankings for 2017: University of Toronto (Rotman) 65th, Western University (Ivey) 94th, Queen’s University (Smith) 100th

Figure 3-3

Source: IMD,  * Rank among 63 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook  2017.

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Qualified Engineers Availability Index*

  • France: 7.78
  • Canada: 7.67
  • Italy: 7.45
  • U.S.: 7.25
  • U.K.: 6.67
  • Germany: 6.58
  • Japan: 6.03

…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 except France, 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  2018 – The Global Entrepreneurship and  Development Institute, November 29, 2017

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Global Entrepreneurship Index*
G7 Ranking

  • U.S.: 84
  • Canada: 79
  • U.K.: 78
  • France: 69
  • Germany: 66
  • Japan: 52
  • Italy: 41

…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 63 economies considered in the World Competitiveness Yearbook  2017.

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Personal Computers
Per 1,000 Inhabitants

  • U.S.: 1173
  • Germany: 1032
  • Canada: 1021
  • U.K.: 1014
  • France: 987
  • Italy: 950
  • Japan: 940

Internet Users
Per 1,000 Inhabitants

  • U.S.: 893
  • Japan: 881
  • Canada: 876
  • Germany: 860
  • U.K.: 842
  • France: 839
  • Italy: 837

Canada is a leader in computer ownership and Internet use.

Canada has a technology-savvy population and workforce. It ranks third 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: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2017, Volume 1, August 2017.

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R&D Investment in the Higher Education Sector

  • Canada: 0.65
  • Germany: 0.50
  • France (2015): 0.45
  • U.K. (2015): 0.44
  • Japan (2015): 0.40
  • Italy (2015): 0.38
  • U.S. (2015): 0.37

Canada has 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 4-2

* 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 2017, 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: 60.0
  7. Germany: 60.0

…with solid investor protection…

Canada is ranked second in the G7 and seventh out of 127 countries, by the Global Innovation Index for the ease of investor protection.

Figure 4-3

Source: UNCTAD Stat Database, August 2017

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

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  • Canada: 54.1
  • U.K.: 52.0
  • U.S.: 30.1
  • G7 Average: 29.8
  • France: 26.8
  • Germany: 24.8
  • Italy: 17.8
  • Japan: 3.6

...creating a business recognized investment environment.

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

Figure 4-4

* At book value, $CAD

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0051, April 25, 2017

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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 increased from C$512 billion in 2007 to C$826 billion in 2016.

Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) increased from C$515 billion in 2007 to C$1,050 billion in 2016.

Figure 4-5

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  • United States: 47.5
  • Netherlands: 11.3
  • Luxembourg: 7.1
  • Switzerland: 6.7
  • United Kingdom: 5.1
  • Japan: 3.5
  • Brazil: 2.8
  • China: 2.6
  • Germany: 1.9
  • Hong Kong 1.5
  • All others: 10.1


  • United States: 45.2
  • United Kingdom: 9.3
  • Barbados: 6.5
  • Luxembourg: 5.7
  • Cayman Is.: 4.6
  • Bermuda: 3.8
  • Netherlands: 2.6
  • Australia: 2.5
  • Bahamas: 1.9
  • Mexico: 1.6
  • Other: 16.3

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0051, April 25, 2017

…led by investment between Canada and the United States…

In 2016, the United States’ share of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada stood at 47.5%, while the United States accounted for 45.2% of Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA).

This demonstrates strong business confidence in cross border investment between Canada and the United States.

Figure 4-6

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 376-0052, April 25, 2017, * North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

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  • Manufacturing: 22.8
  • Mining, Oil and Gas: 22.7
  • Management of Companies & Enterprises: 18.2
  • Finance & Insurance: 14.7
  • Wholesale Trade: 8.3
  • Retail Trade: 4.3
  • All Others: 8.9

…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 4-7

Source: UNCTAD Stat Database, August 2017

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Cumulative FDI Inflows per Capita in the G7
2012-2016 | US$

  • Canada: 6950
  • U.K.: 6759
  • U.S.: 4046
  • France: 1931
  • Italy: 1604
  • Germany: 1123
  • Japan: 188

…making Canada a leader in FDI attraction…

Since the financial crisis and ensuing global downturn, Canada has outperformed major global economies in attracting FDI: From 2012-2016, Canada was the largest recipient of per capita inflows among G-7 countries and the second largest in the G-20 following Australia.


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 World Economic Outlook, October 2017.

…with direct access to the North American market...

Canadian-based businesses have access to one market of nearly 482 million consumers with a combined GDP of over US$21 trillion.*

Many Canadian production hubs are very close to U.S. markets with 16 of Canada’s 20 largest cities within a 1.5-hour drive of the U.S. border.

Figure 5-3

World map

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2017.

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Countries and Economic Zones with Free Trade Agreements with Canada, 2016
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (US$)

Cost Rica58B

…excellent global market access for businesses…

With the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)  provisionally in force, firms operating in Canada have preferred market access to 45 foreign countries.

Canada’s preferred market access represents over 1.2 billion consumers and over US$41.4 trillion or 55.0%, of global GDP.

Canada’s market access is supported by a reliable and efficient transportation system, providing for effective Canadian business participation in global supply chains.

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

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 December 2017 *

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.

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Better Life Index* G7 Ranking

  • Canada: 7.78
  • U.S.: 7.67
  • Germany: 7.24
  • U.K.: 6.95
  • France: 6.56
  • Japan: 5.76
  • Italy: 5.49

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

Canada ranks first in the G7 and fifth among the 35 OECD countries in terms of overall living conditions and quality of life.

Figure 6-2

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2017.

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Gross Domestic Product per Capita of G7 Countries
2016 | US$

  • U.S.: $57,608
  • Canada: $42,225
  • Germany: $42,177
  • U.K.: $40,050
  • Japan: $38,883
  • France: $38,178
  • Italy: $30,507

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

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

Figure 6-3

Source: Mercer Human Resources Consulting: March 2017

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Overall Quality of Life Ranking (Top 25 Cities)

  1. Vienna
  2. Zurich
  3. Auckland
  4. Munich
  5. Vancouver
  6. Dusseldorf
  7. Frankfurt
  8. Geneva
  9. Copenhagen
  10. Basel
  11. Sydney
  12. Amsterdam
  13. Berlin
  14. Bern
  15. Wellington
  16. Melbourne
  17. Toronto
  18. Ottawa
  19. Hamburg
  20. Stockholm
  21. Luxembourg
  22. Perth
  23. Montréal
  24. Nuremberg
  25. Singapore

…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 2017 Country RepTrak(TM), an annual study measuring the public perceptions of 55 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 17 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 2017

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Global Reputation*
Ranking of Top Ten Countries

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

…and an impressive overall reputation on the global stage.

The Reputation Institute ranked Canada first among 55 countries, based on its 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 2017

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Global Peace Index*
G7 Ranking

  1. Canada
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Italy
  5. U.K.
  6. France
  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, January 2017

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Democracy Index*
G7 Ranking

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

…and vibrant democracies.

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

Figure 6-7

Source: IMD

*Confidence that person and property is protected. Rank among 63 economies considered in the 2017 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

**Degree of fairness of the judicial system in Society. Rank among 63 economies considered in the 2017 World Competitiveness Yearbook

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World Rank

  • Canada: 8.79
  • Germany: 8.37
  • U.S.: 8.30
  • U.K.: 8.02
  • Japan: 7.93
  • France: 7.78
  • Italy: 6.19

World Rank

  • Germany: 8.42
  • Canada: 8.19
  • U.K.: 8.18
  • Japan: 8.09
  • U.S.: 7.43
  • France: 7.20
  • Italy: 3.86

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 63 economies considered in the 2017 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

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Equal Opportunity*
World Rank

  • Canada: 7.67
  • Japan: 6.89
  • U.K.: 6.69
  • Germany: 6.63
  • U.S.: 6.37
  • France: 6.18
  • Italy: 5.06

…a land of equal opportunity…

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

Figure 6-9

*Based on mother tongue
Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 and 2016 Census , Released August 2, 2017.

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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 21.3% in 2011 to 22.9% in 2016.

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

  • 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