Canada is geographically the world's second largest country, with an area of approximately 10 million square kilometres and a population exceeding 37 million. The United States is smaller in area, but the Canadian population is only slightly more than 1/10 of the population of the United States.
Roughly 70% of the Canadian population resides within 100 kilometres of its southern boundary with the United States - in the highly industrialized corridor between Windsor, Ontario and Québec City, Québec. As a result, Canada and the United States share many economic imperatives and cultural influences. The economic and material aspirations and realizations of the Canadian and the United States populations are strikingly similar.
From a historical perspective, however, Canada remains significantly different than the United States. Canada today is a highly multicultural society that generally respects and enshrines cultural heritage rather than encouraging the population to form a homogeneous melting pot. Colonized by the British and French, Canada remains a bilingual country; English and French are the two official languages. Approximately 20% of the population speak French as their first language, with the greatest concentration of French speakers residing in the province of Quebec.
Canada remains an attractive location for the establishment or expansion of business in North America. Canadian workers are highly skilled and well-educated with the lowest turnover and absenteeism rates in North America. Canada ranked #13 on the 2019 United Nations Human Development Index. Toronto is North America's fastest growing tech market, and North America's third ranked market for tech talent, coming in just behind San Francisco and Seattle.
The Canadian economy is also heavily influenced by the state of the United States economy. Canada is the world's largest exporter to and importer from the United States. In 2018, Goods exported to the United States rose to $433 billion in 2018, representing 75% of all Canadian goods exports. Imports from the United States were $391 billion, representing 64% of all Canadian goods imports. Notwithstanding there was a surplus in goods, there was a services trade deficit with the United States was $123 billion. In November 2018, Canada, the US and Mexico signed the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) to replace NAFTA. CUMSA has now been ratified by all three countries and is expected to replace NAFTA as early as July 1, 2020.
Except in certain limited situations where cultural values are at risk, Canada is receptive to foreign investment. With its stable political and economic systems, and its rich natural and human resources, Canada continues to provide an attractive climate for foreign businesses.
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