Below provides a profile of the North America regional market overall, and interesting facts and information about issues important to both Canada and foreign executives working in Canada.
One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States. It is a member of the G8, G-20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN.
Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, it is a mixed market and unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada's most important. Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector, centred in Central Canada (Ontario), with the automobile industry especially important. Canada is also one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products, particularly of wheat and other grains.
Eastern Canada is a world leader in the production of many natural resources such as gold, nickel, uranium, diamonds and lead. Several of Canada's largest companies are based in natural resource industries. The vast majority of these products are exported, mainly to the United States. There are also many secondary and service industries that are directly linked to primary ones. For instance one of Canada's largest manufacturing industries is the pulp and paper sector, which is directly linked to the logging industry, which is of great importance to British Columbia.
Canada’s markets are one of the few developed nations that exports energy to th world. Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and commonly as “the West”, is a region of Canada generally including everything west of the Ontario province. The West is economically important primarily because of its vast oil reserves, most important are the large oil and gas resources centered in Alberta and the Northern Territories, but also present in neighboring British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The vast Athabasca Tar Sands give Canada the world's second largest reserves of oil after Saudi Arabia according to USGS.
Canada has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world. As of October 2009, Canada's national unemployment rate stood at 8.6% as the effect of the world economic crisis settled in and more people looked for work.
Canada is a federation consisting of ten provinces and three territories occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area, and is inhabited by approximately 33,873,357 people. Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.
Canada’s climate varies according to the local. Winters can be harsh in many regions of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F) but can drop below −40 °C (−40.0 °F) with severe wind chills. In noncoastal regions, snow can cover the ground almost six months of the year (more in the north). Coastal British Columbia enjoys a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), with occasional extreme heat in some interior locations exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).
Canada is also geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.
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