Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world and is highlighted as the strongest economy of the G7. Canada emerged from the recent economic crisis quickly and strongly as its strong petroleum sector is becoming an important economic driver, and by implementing diligent policies and regulation. This has meant that Canada has avoided many of the problems other developed countries have faced such as a banking crisis, property market crash and large public debt. Positive growth is forecast for the coming years with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting 2.3% GDP growth in 2014 and 2.4% in 2015. According to the IMF, Canada has the lowest debt burden in the G7 group of countries.
Canada’s financial sector has a strong tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalisation, which has resulted in the country having one of the world’s healthiest banking systems. Canada was the only country in the industrialised world not to experience any bank failures or bail-outs in the financial or mortgage sectors during the recent economic crisis.
Canada is governed as a parliamentary democracy and is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The current Prime Minister is Stephen Harper who is the leader of the conservative party. Winning a third consecutive term in elections held in May 2011, Harper’s primary initiatives have centred on stimulating growth and prosperity by creating new jobs and encouraging industry in the energy and ecological business sectors.
Canada has a large domestic and international tourist industry thanks to the country’s impressive geographical diversity and home to a number of cultural centres such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Canada has 958 historical sites that keep tourists visiting the country.
Canada is renowned as one of the richest nations of source materials with an enviable list of natural resources and large fossil fuel deposits. Among the long list of resources includes iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, potash, diamonds, sliver, fish, timber, coal, natural gas and hydropower to name only a few. The country has significant crude oil reserves ranking it as the 3rd largest in the world following Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. It is estimated that Canada will be producing 2.7 million barrels per day by 2025. Canada is currently the US’s largest energy supplier of electric power, uranium, gas and oil.
As the second largest country in the world, Canada stretches approx. 6,000 kilometres east to west and northwards to the Arctic Circle encompassing a variety of geoclimatic regions. The country boasts the world’s longest coastline measuring 202,080 kilometres (125,570 miles), bordering three of the world’s four oceans.