Halifax: Canada’s Ocean City

City Profile

Halifax is the capital city of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada
Population: 417,847

  • Primary economic engine for Atlantic Canada - 20% of the region’s GDP
  • Strategically located between major North American, European and Asian markets
  • Ranks 8th in International Business Cost Competitiveness (KPMG, Competitive Alternatives 2016).

Key Advantages

  • Major North American transportation and logistics hub
  • Major projects totaling $31 billion in Halifax; with $125 billion throughout Atlantic Canada
  • Diverse economy powered by growing industry sectors such as financial services, transportation and logistics and ocean technology
  • One of the most highly-educated workforces in North America - close to 70% of the working age population have post-secondary certification
  • Ranked Top 10 for Business Friendliness in FDI Magazine’s ranking of American Cities of the Future 2015/2016

Sector Strengths

Halifax has one of the most diverse economies in Canada with a number of strong industries.

  • Financial Services

    Halifax is the regional headquarters of Canada’s largest banks and a global financial centre for shared services, middle and back office operations. According to KPMG, Halifax, Nova Scotia is the fastest growing hedge fund administration centre in Canada.
  • Information and Communication Technology, Gaming and Interactive Media

    Some of the world’s most recognizable ICT, digital media companies are based in Halifax including IBM, CGI, Cisco, Xerox, Bell Aliant and NTT Data.
  • Oceans

    Halifax is a world leader in oceans research and technology, a growing sector generating $4.5 billion in GDP in Nova Scotia and employing 14% of the province's workforce. Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of oceans-related PhDs in the world.
  • Transportation and Logistics

    Built for speed and volume, the Halifax Gateway is a strategic North American location for the efficient movement of goods and people globally. It includes the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the International Port of Halifax, CN Rail, a strong logistics and warehousing sector, and excellent class 1 highway infrastructure.
  • Aerospace and Defence

    Nova Scotia’s commercial aerospace and defence sector, with locations throughout the Province, employs 3,000 people and generates more than $850 million in revenues each year. Add the Department of National Defence (DND) to the mix, with an additional workforce of 14,439 and annual expenditures of $1.7 billion, and you will see why Nova Scotia can compete with jurisdictions worldwide.

    Sources: DND Estimated Expenditures by Electoral District and Province FY 2013-14; Dept of Business LEAD Profile, Aerospace & Defence.

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