Canada is a G-7 nation with among the highest GDP per capita. Toronto is the eighth biggest financial centre and Canadians had $830 billion invested abroad in 2014. With a net export of $100 billion, Bill Burgess notes, “what most characterizes Canada is not inward foreign investment but outward foreign investment.”
Canadian companies are global players in various fields. The world’s largest privately held security company, GardaWorld had 50,000 employees operating across the globe while another Montréal-based firm, SNC Lavalin, is among the largest engineering companies in the world with projects in 100 countries. Operating across the globe, Canadian banks are major international players. The Royal Bank was the world’s fifth biggest bank in 2014 and the four other major Canadian banks all ranked among the top 59 in the world. The big five banks generated about half of their sizable profits from international operations.
The mining sector provides the starkest example of Canadian capital’s international prominence. With 0.5% of the world’s population, between half and three quarters of the world’s mining companies are based in Canada or listed on Canadian stock exchanges. Present in most countries, Canadian corporations operate thousands of mineral projects abroad.