On behalf of the Government of Canada, it gives me great pleasure to address readers of the 2014 edition of Location Canada magazine.
With a robust economy and strong business fundamentals, Canada remains one of the best places in the world for international business and foreign direct investment. Indeed, in the aftermath of the worst global recession in a generation, Canada has continued to outperform its G-7 peers in the growth of its economy, employment, and income while achieving the lowest net-debt-to-GDP ratio in the group. Forbes and Bloomberg both rate Canada as the best country in the G-20 with which to do business, and for the past six years, the World Economic Forum has rated our banking system as the world’s soundest. We are also among just a handful of nations in the world with a triple-A credit rating. This provides assurance to business investors about the security of their investments in Canada.
Our government is working to ensure that Canada continues to be a top destination for business investment. Through Economic Action Plan 2014, we are continuing to bolster the competitiveness of the Canadian economy by investing in the manufacturing sector, encouraging innovation, and increasing the training and availability of skilled labor. Further, we are improving Canada’s public infrastructure, deepening our trade and investment relationships in the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world, and improving our country’s fiscal framework by returning to a balanced budget in 2015. Our government continues to create the conditions that attract global investors to communities across Canada.
Clearly, investing in Canada makes excellent business sense. We offer a strong, stable financial system; low taxes; one of the highest standards of living in the G-20; a business-friendly environment; world-class cities; spectacular natural landscapes; and an innovative, well-educated, and multicultural workforce. I believe that Canada offers the very best value proposition when it comes to global investment.
Canada also has trade links to the world. Through the North American Free Trade Agreement, we offer businesses established in Canada preferential access to a North American market of over 470 million consumers. This increases to nearly 980 million consumers once the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement comes into force. And in March 2014, Canada signed a free-trade agreement with Korea, opening an important gateway into Asia.
The Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway