Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The gross domestic product in Canada in 2008 was 1.274 billion US dollars. GDP in 2008 was $ 38,200 and purchasing power parity was 1,265.838 billion international dollars.
Canada is a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G8.
In Canada, imports amounted to 32.8% and exports 36.7% of the gross domestic product in 2007.
Canada’s main trading partner is the USA. The USA had a very high share of exports at 76.4% and an equally high share of Canada’s imports at 65%. This trade relationship was mainly reinforced by the Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement of 1988. This agreement abolished tariffs between the two countries and led to a marked increase in trade volumes and US investment in Canada.
With the North American Free Trade Agreement, this free trade area was extended to Mexico in 1994. Further free trade agreements exist with Costa Rica, Israel, Chile, and the EFTA (Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein).
After Europe, the USA, Japan and China, Canada ranks fifth in the statistics of world foreign trade.
Foreign trade is largely free in Canada. In a few areas, foreign investments are limited to minority participation.
Canada pursues a social market economy. In Canada, for example, the economy is dominated by the service sector, but the primary sector also plays a very important role. This is due to the exploitation and wealth of natural resources.
Canada has a rich variety of mineral resources. The nickel that is mined in Canada covers 20% of the world’s total demand. After Saudi Arabia, Canada has the second largest oil reserves in the world with 24 billion tons. Canada also owns 10% of the world’s forest.
Canada also has the following mineral resources: natural gas, gold, lead, iron ore, coal, zinc, aluminum, sulfur, asbestos, copper, potassium carbonate and uranium. Canada is the leading producer of uranium and zinc.
Due to the high natural gas and oil deposits off the coasts, Canada is one of the few developed countries that count itself among the export countries of energy. But also hydropower and renewable energy sources are used in Canada.
The industry has settled particularly in the south in Ontario and Québec. The most important branches of industry are the automotive and aviation industries. The energy producing industry is located in the greater Calgary area.
The service sector is by far the most important. Seven of the ten largest companies are active in the insurance and banking sector.
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is Canada’s largest stock exchange, the third largest exchange in North America, and the sixth largest exchange in the world.
Unemployment was 6.2% in October 2008 and has increased by 0.3% in contrast to September 2007 with 5.9%.
Canada – Work and Travel
Work and Travel Programs in Canada allow participants to experience the combination of a language course with an unpaid internship in a company in Canada.
Interested parties between the ages of 18 and 30 can take part in work and travel programs. A work and travel program consists of an English course of at least 4 weeks followed by a 6-week internship in a company in Canada.
Usually there is the possibility to extend the language course and the internship.
Most of the participants in work and travel programs are accommodated in host families.
The participants in work and travel programs in Canada are supported by so-called counselors, who prepare the participants for interviews with potential employers.
During the second part of the program, the language course and work at a company based in Canada are combined.
Internships take place in the following areas, for example:
- Office work in a company e.g. in Toronto
- Ski instructor in Vancouver
- Waiter in a restaurant, for example in Montréal
It is important to know that employment with the same employer is possible for a maximum of 6 months.
Special practical experience is not necessary, but can be an advantage in some areas.
Like the United States, Canada has sights waiting to be discovered.
As the second largest country in the world, Canada offers a variety of attractions. Canada has sights that can be found in nature, but also those that can only be found in many large cities.
Some of the most famous landmarks in Canada include Niagara Falls and the CN Tower in Toronto. At the Niagara Falls it is possible to take a tour boat directly into the rising fog. This tour is definitely worth the drive. In addition, right next to the Niagara Falls, with the small town of Niagra on the Lake, is another tourist attraction in Canada. The view from the observation deck of the CN Tower is one of the sights that attracts most tourists. From this point you can see Toronto perfectly. Another attraction are the Toronto Islands, which are located directly in front of the city in Lake Ontario. Beautiful landscapes and long beaches are waiting to be discovered here.
Another attraction is the city of Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. This sight particularly impresses with its wonderful cityscape, which lies between mountains and a bay. There are many attractions in Vancouver, such as the large shopping malls, the totem poles in Stanley Park and Capilano Park.
Canada also offers numerous attractions for nature lovers. These include, for example, the many national parks such as Banff National Park, in which black and grizzly bears as well as wolves and coyotes can be observed, and Jasper National Park, which is characterized by its high mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Other national parks in Canada are Point Pelee National Park and Nahanni Park.
Other Canada attractions include:
- Eaton Center, Chinatown, Little Italy and the National Arts Center in Toronto
- Canoeing in coastal regions such as Charlevoix, Manicouagan and Duplessis
- Coastal town of Lonque-Point, a popular starting point for whale watching tours
- Villa Souterraine shopping center in the capital city of Montréal
- Chateau Trontena, a hotel in Quebec
- Whistler ski resort in British Columbia
- Shushwap with its 200 lakes