Canada: Country and Foreign Investment
Telecommunications services are described as excellent and modern. Submarine cables provide links to the US and Europe. In 2011 there were more than 26 million mobile phones, and more than 27 million Internet users.
Canada has a well-developed aviation industry, offering international flights worldwide. There are 26 major airports as part of the national airports system, 726 certified airports that support scheduled and non-scheduled flights, and 1,700 aerodromes that support takeoffs and landings. Air Canada, now privately owned, is the country’s largest airline, followed by WestJet.
Canada lays claim to one of the largest railtrack networks in the world, with 48,000 km of track. State-owned VIA Rail is the main operator.
There are many ports and terminals operating in Canada, including Fraser River Port, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Port-Cartier, Quebec City, Saint John (New Brunswick), Sept-Isles and Vancouver.
The housing market, which grew steadily in recent boom years, has been hit, albeit to a lesser degree than elsewhere, by the economic crisis. The market grew by just 0.1% in April 2009 on April 2008. Rental prices for apartments in Canada’s 35 major centres increased by 2.9% over the same period. A significant rise in the housing market and subsequent fears of a significant downturn to follow led the government to introduce measures to protect the market. The measures include a cap in re-financing to 90% from 95%.
The Canadian banking sector is well developed. In 2011, there were 22 domestic banks, 26 subsidiaries of foreign banks, and 29 foreign banks with branches in Canada. Two banks are government-owned: the National Bank of Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada.