Canada stands as the largest country in North America and claims the title of the second-largest globally, only surpassed by Russia. It's intricately divided into ten provinces and three territories. As one of the world's most affluent nations, Canada boasts a high-tech industrial society paired with an exceedingly high living standard. In 2021, despite facing a contraction of 5.162 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada's GDP per capita impressively reached nearly 43.1 thousand U.S. dollars, placing it among the top-tier globally. Additionally, the average inflation rate in 2021 was noted at 3.40 percent, but by Q2 2022, it saw a sharp increase to 7.70 percent, a reflection of the prevailing global economic challenges

General Canadian market information

Canada, the vast expanse of land that is the largest in North America, stands as the world's second-largest country, with only Russia surpassing its landmass. With its broad territory, it's intriguing to note that Canada's total population is approximately 37.7 million, a modest number considering its size. The majority of Canadians opt for urban living, with cities clustered predominantly in the southern belt, hugging the U.S. border. As of 2019, Toronto claims the title of Canada's most populous city with 6.2 million residents, while Ottawa, the capital, holds the fifth position, housing 1.4 million citizens. The pandemic-induced economic turmoil saw Canada's unemployment rate spike to a record high of 13.7% in May 2020. While the subsequent months witnessed a gradual decline, by the close of 2020, it still stood at 8.6%. Canadian residents enjoy one of the world's top life expectancies, averaging 82.25 years as of 2017. The country's governance is unique; it melds a federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy, headlined by King Charles III. The Governor-General of Canada, representing the King, holds the highest official rank, followed closely by the head of government. Notably, Canada's political stability is globally recognized, ranking third after Norway and Denmark. A founding member of the United Nations and a member of NATO, the World Trade Organization, the G20, and the OECD, Canada firmly plants its feet in the global political and economic arena. Its linguistic diversity is evident, with both French and English holding official status. Regional languages, including those of First Nations like Inuktitut, Chipewyan, and Cree, are also acknowledged. Economically, Canada's high-tech industrial society ranks among the world's affluent, ensuring a top-tier living standard for its residents. Despite the pandemic's economic setback in 2020, resulting in a GDP contraction of 5.162%, Canada's GDP per capita impressively touched nearly 44 thousand U.S. dollars. The same year, the average inflation rate was logged at 0.62%. Canada's industrial might spans across various sectors, including chemicals, minerals, food, wood, and paper products. The nation stands as the third-largest holder of oil reserves globally, trailing only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Additionally, its agricultural prowess yields wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, and distinctively Canadian forest products like maple syrup. The U.S. remains Canada's principal trade ally, but the nation has been diligently expanding its economic ties with Europe and Asia. Canada's major imports encompass machinery, equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, and electricity. In contrast, its export roster features motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment, chemicals, petroleum, and natural gas.

Canadian government procurement

The Government of Canada is one of the largest public buyers of goods and services in Canada, purchasing approximately $22 billion worth every year on behalf of federal departments and agencies. As the government's main buyer of goods and services (including construction), Public Works and Government Services Canada ("PWGSC") plays a key role by helping federal departments and agencies define their requirements or scope of work, and obtain what they need at the best value.​ PWGSC procurement activities are principally carried out pursuant to the following legal framework:
  • statutes and regulations;
  • agreements;
  • policies, directives, procedures and guidelines; and
  • challenge process.​
When a federal department or agency sends a requisition to PWGSC, depending on the requirements, the requisition may be handled by a contracting officer at headquarters or in a regional office. In keeping with the Government Contracts Regulations, procurement is done by means of: a competitive procurement process whenever possible; or a non-competitive procurement process (only used in certain special circumstances).

Canada Trade Agreements

Nicknamed the Great White North, Canada exported a total US$446.5 billion worth of products around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 9.2% increase since 2015 but a -0.9% dip from 2018 to 2019.

Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Canadian dollar has depreciated by -3.8% against the US dollar since 2015 and retreated by -2.4% from 2018 to 2019. Canada’s weaker local currency make Canadian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers. The latest available country-specific data shows that 91.6% of products exported from Canada were bought by importers in: United States (75.4% of the global total), China (3.9%), United Kingdom (3.3%), Japan (2.1%), Mexico (1.2%), Germany (1.1%), South Korea (0.9%), Netherlands (0.9%), India (0.8%), Hong Kong (0.7%), France (0.6%) and Italy (0.5%). From a continental perspective, 76.7% of Canada exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 11.7% were sold to Asian importers. Canada shipped another 8.9% worth of goods to Europe. Smaller percentages went to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.3%), Africa (0.9%) then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.5%). Given Canada’s population of 37.5 million people, its total $446.5 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $11,900 for every resident.​

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Canada’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Canada.

  1. Vehicles: US$74.4 billion (16.4%);

  2. Machinery including computers: $69.2 billion (15.3%);

  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $44.2 billion (9.7%);

  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $33.2 billion (7.3%);

  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $16.4 billion (3.6%);

  6. Pharmaceuticals: $13.9 billion (3.1%);

  7. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $12.6 billion (2.8%);

  8. Gems, precious metals: $10.3 billion (2.3%);

  9. Articles of iron or steel: $10.3 billion (2.3%);

  10. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $9.2 billion (2%);

Canada’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Canadian global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Canada.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$98.4 billion (22% of total exports)

  2. Vehicles: $61.4 billion (13.8%)

  3. Machinery including computers: $34.8 billion (7.8%)

  4. Gems, precious metals: $21.3 billion (4.8%)

  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $13.5 billion (3%)

  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $12.7 billion (2.8%)

  7. Wood: $11.7 billion (2.6%)

  8. Aircraft, spacecraft: $11.3 billion (2.5%)

  9. Ores, slag, ash: $8.9 billion (2%)

  10. Pharmaceuticals: $8.4 billion (1.9%)

Canada’s top 10 exports approach two-thirds (63.2%) of the overall value of Canadian global shipments.

Led by gold the gems and precious metals category represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories thanks to its 16.2% increase since 2018. In second place for improving export sales was ores, slag and ash gained 12.7% led by iron ores and concentrates. Canada’s shipments of pharmaceuticals posted the third-fastest gain in value via its 7.4% improvement.

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