As Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, it gives me great pleasure to address readers of the 15th annual edition of Location Canada magazine.
Canada remains one of the best places in the world for international business and foreign direct investment. Canada's economy has outperformed those of most other industrialized countries, and Canada is one of only two G-7 countries to have recouped all the jobs lost during the global
recession. In fact, since July 2009, our economy has created more than 690,000 net new jobs. For four years in a row, the World Economic Forum has rated Canada's banking system as the world's soundest. Forbes magazine has ranked Canada as the best place in the world for businesses to grow and create jobs. Our net debt-to-GDP remains the lowest in the G-7 by far. Both the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development have forecast that Canada will be among the leaders of the world's major economies in 2012 and 2013.
The Government of Canada is working to ensure that Canada continues to be a top destination for foreign investment that benefits Canadians, despite ongoing global economic uncertainty. As the Prime Minister of Canada has previously stated, Canada will seize and master its future, with clarity and urgency, and will be a model of confidence, growth, and prosperity in the 21st century. In our Economic Action Plan 2012, we have made key investments that focus on the drivers of growth and job creation - innovation, investment, education, skills and communities. At the same time, we announced measures to ensure the sound and responsible management of public finances that will help us return to a balanced budget by 2015-16. And as a key part of the plan for Canada's long-term prosperity, our government is undertaking the most ambitious trade-expansion plan in Canadian history. Opening new markets will provide enormous long-term benefit to Canadians and those who invest here, offering a gateway to new business and trade opportunities.
To find out more about Canada's economic and business strengths, I encourage you to visit InvestinCanada.com or contact our trade and investment professionals located in more than 150 cities worldwide. We look forward to working with you to help you establish or expand your business in Canada and pave the way for enhanced economic growth and prosperity.
The Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway