Emerging Markets / February 1, 2018

Economics and Agribusiness in Canada

Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth. Originally, Canada became a self-governing British dominion 1867, until it severed colonial ties with the United Kingdom in 1982. This vast country is located along the northern third of North America and it is the largest country in the world to border only with one other country, in this case the United States. Furthermore, the United States and Canada share the longest border in the world. Currently, Canada has a total territory of almost 1 million square kilometers, which is somewhat larger than the United States and second only to Russia’s total territory. Likewise, Canada has an arctic and subarctic climate along its northern regions as well as a temperate climate along its southern regions. Meanwhile, Canada’s geography is diverse from the Rocky mountains to the west to vast plains throughout and over 200.000 kilometers of both Atlantic and Pacific coastline.

Economics and Agribusiness in Canada

Today, Canada has a total population of approximately 35.6 million citizens, about 82% of which live in an urban setting, notably the major cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and the capital Ottawa. Meanwhile, the median age in Canada is 42 years old. In economic terms, Canada has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of some US$1.8 trillion, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), which is divided into 2% agriculture, 28% manufacturing, and 70% services. Similarly, it is estimated that the agricultural industry employs 3% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs 20% and services employ another 77%. Furthermore, the agriculture industry utilizes 7% of the national territory, while another 34% is forested.

In terms of natural resources, Canada has iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, and hydropower. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on transportation equipment, chemicals, processed minerals, food products, and wood & paper products. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products fish, wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and forestry goods. In terms of trade, Canada is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. During 2016, Canada imported US$399 billion worth of goods and exported US$387 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$11.3 billion. Furthermore, Canada’s main export, representing 13% or US$48.8 billion of the country’s total in 2016, were cars. Likewise, the country’s main import that same year, representing 6.6% or US$26.4 billion of all international purchases, were also cars. Canada’s main trading partners are the United States, China, Mexico, and the European Union.

In recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the Canadian population has been approximately 55 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution in Canada has evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, arable land in the country covered 40.843 hectares, while permanent pastures and meadows represented 17.036 hectares and permanent crops accounted for 11.946 hectares. More recently, by 2015, arable land had increased to 43.606 hectares, while permanent pastures and meadows represented 14.349 hectares and permanent crops covered 4.700 hectares.

(Read more about Land Ownership in Developing Regions)

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