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Manitoba: Strength in Diversity

Aug/Sep 07
Manitoba has one of Canada's most diversified economies, helping to make the province the most stable economic performer in Canada. Manitoba's economic growth in 2006 was its strongest since 2000, and exceeded the national average. Manitoba is the only province in Canada to see 15 consecutive years of private capital investment growth. According to Statistics Canada data, private capital investment in Manitoba grew by 11 percent in 2006 and is forecast to be more than triple the Canadian average for 2007. Year-to-date growth in manufacturing shipments is 12.5 percent and in foreign exports is 19.7 percent, well above the national average.

Key Clusters
Manitoba's diverse economic base is strong in many areas including:

Manufacturing: Aerospace components, buses, furniture, farm equipment, windows, clothing, and outerwear - Manitoba makes it all. High productivity and access to a skilled and reliable work force help Manitoba's manufacturing exports to grow and encourage export-driven expansion.

Some of the more-well known firms enjoying success in Manitoba's thriving business environment are New Flyer Industries (the major North American supplier of urban transit buses), Biovail Corporation (one of the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical companies), Vansco Electronics (Winnipeg-based electronic components manufacturer with offices on three continents), and Cangene Corporation (Winnipeg-based world leader in biotechnology products).

Aerospace: Manitoba's state-of-the-art aerospace industry is the largest in Western Canada and home to a diversified cluster of world-class manufacturing, repair and overhaul, and service firms. Led by four world-class companies - Boeing Technology Canada, Standard Aero, Magellan Aerospace Limited Winnipeg, and Air Canada Technical Services - Manitoba's aerospace cluster has leading capabilities in composite materials, and in engine repair and overhaul. In fact, the Boeing composite manufacturing facility is the largest in North America, and Winnipeg's Standard Aero Limited is the world's largest independent small turbine engine repair and overhaul company.

Financial Services
: Canada's largest mutual fund company (IGM Financial Inc.) and largest insurance company (Great West Lifeco Inc.) are the cornerstones of the province's financial services sector.

Agrifood Processing: Manitoba's food-processing sector accounts for approximately 28 percent of the province's manufacturing shipments. Maple Leaf Foods operates a hog processing plant near Brandon that is one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in North America. Manitoba is also home to major french fry plants owned by McCain Foods Limited and J.R. Simplot Company.

Biotechnology and Life Sciences: Manitoba's biotechnology sector is among the fastest-growing in Canada. Growing clusters of research-based private-sector firms and public research institutions give Manitoba an expanding international profile in agriculture and health biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic services. Some of the province's more prominent success stories include the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, which is the home of Canada's new Public Health Agency; SmartPark at the University of Manitoba; the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre; and the National Research Council's Institute of Biodiagnostics.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Manitoba's ICT industry has internationally competitive expertise and products. The province hosts a wide array of ICT companies, including two large Manitoba-based multinationals - MTS Allstream Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp. This core strength is bolstered by the local operations of several ICT multinationals, including IBM and EDS.

Hydroelectricity: Powered by Manitoba Hydro's reliable, renewable, and low-cost electricity, Manitoba has a definite energy advantage. The province has abundant hydroelectric capacity, the lowest published rates in North America, and enjoys high system reliability and superior power quality.

Strategic Location + Qualified Labor
Manitoba is located at the northern terminus of the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor, which provides direct access to a central North American market of 100 million people. The corridor provides seamless and efficient transportation, from the Midwest through the Southwest and deep into Mexico.

Additionally, Manitobans are educated and highly skilled, even by the standard of a country that has the highest postsecondary education rate in the world. Four universities - including Western Canada's oldest - and three community colleges, plus a variety of vocational and technical learning centers ensure that Manitoba's work force is both trained and motivated. Combined with remarkably low employee turnover rates, this commitment to education and training gives your business a tremendous edge over its competition.

Competitive Costs
Manitoba also has extremely competitive business costs, including low costs for land and construction and competitive labor costs. Studies conducted by KPMG have consistently shown Manitoba to be one of the most competitive locations in the North American Midwest with respect to overall business costs. In particular, Winnipeg offers exceptional cost advantages for advanced manufacturing (aerospace and precision components) and for research-based industries (biotechnology, clinical trials, and electronic product testing).

The province has also implemented numerous tax initiatives that benefit businesses that choose to locate here. For instance:

• The corporate income tax rate has been reduced from 17 percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2007, and will be further reduced to 13 percent in 2008, and to 12 percent in 2009, subject to balanced budget legislation.

• The small business income tax rate has been reduced from 8 percent in 1999 to 3 percent in 2007, and will be further reduced to 2 percent in 2008 and to 1 percent in 2009, subject to balanced budget legislation.

• The refundable portion of the Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit will increase to 50 percent of earned credits for qualified property purchased on or after January 1, 2008.

• The Manitoba R&D Tax Credit has been increased to 20 percent of eligible expenses, making it one of the most attractive in Canada.

• The new Green Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit provides a 10 percent refundable tax credit for purchase of new equipment used to generate renewable energy.

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