How big is the Canadian economy?

The Canadian economy is based on the services, resource, and manufacturing industries. The combination of considerable natural resources, skilled workforce, and strong links with trading partners is the driving force behind economic growth. The services sector is diverse and includes the financial services, retail sector, education, real estate, high-tech, health, tourism and entertainment.

Canada’s natural resource base spreads across its provinces and territories. The forestry industry is particularly important in British Columbia, and the oil and gas industry is of importance in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The country has mineral resources of gold, copper, coal, and iron ore. It is a global leader in the production of lead, diamonds, nickel, gold and uranium, with several companies engaged in the exploitation of natural resources. Among them are Barrick Gold, EnCana, Goldcorp, Cameco, and others. The largest volume of products is exported to the U.S.

The economy of Canada is the 10th largest in the world, which makes it one of the wealthiest nations. The country is one of the G8 members. The service sector is of particular importance and accounts for 78 percent of Canada’s GDP. The service industry encompasses four major sectors: wholesale, retail trade, logistics, and product development. The retail industry in Canada is mainly engaged in selling services and consumer goods through the chain stores and big-box stores (e.g. The Bay, Future Shop, and Canadian Tire). Many large retail companies have manufacturing operations and their own facilities and warehouses. The wholesale industry encompasses two types of companies. Some merchants specialize in buying consumer goods for resale to other wholesalers, trade contractors, businesses, and retailers. There are also companies that act as brokers and agents in selling and buying merchandise.

The manufacturing industries are of particular importance for Canada’s economic growth. Major industries are the forest industries, shipbuilding, the automotive, oil and gas, and primary metals industries. The primary metals industry is a major contributor to economic growth and the Canadian economy. It supplies steel and iron products to a variety of manufacturing industries in the United States and Canada. The forest products industry is the largest net exporter and among the major manufacturing sectors in Canada. It is a key component of the employment base and industrial structure of all regions. The forest products industry comprises two subsectors – paper and allied products industries and wood products industries. The latter supplies commodities such as panels, lumber, and value-added products (kitchen cabinets, windows, doors, manufactured flooring and housing). The paper and allied products industries supplies products such as paperboard, packaging papers, and pulp, along with value-added products like napkins and tissue.

Canada is among the leaders in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Companies that operate in this sector have capabilities in systems integration and product development, fuel cell system development, hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and purification. Canadian companies have expertise in residential cogeneration, backup power, public transportation, and more. They have built expertise and capacity in these sectors and provide opportunities for investment in hydrogen capabilities. Shipbuilding is another industrial sector of importance. Industry drivers include: aquaculture and fisheries, tourism and recreation, marine transportation, and offshore gas and oil exploration and production.