Alberta Business Advantages

Alberta’s abundant resources, skilled workforce, and growing knowledge-based economy generate a globally competitive environment for business, and forge a place of opportunity and inspiration for those living in the province. The Alberta economy offers the following competitive advantages for enterprise investment:
  • The lowest tax regime in Canada. Alberta businesses do not pay general sales taxes (the only province in Canada without one), or capital or payroll taxes prevalent in other Canadian provinces and U.S. states. The general corporate tax rate is 10 per cent, and the small business tax rate is three per cent, the third lowest among the provinces.
  • A positive business climate. Alberta is home to a highly entrepreneurial and competitive business community, a fiscally responsible government (no net debt) committed to less regulation to enhance business competitiveness, a strong science and technology culture, a highly skilled, educated, and motivated workforce that is the most productive in Canada, and world-class infrastructure to support enterprise, including advanced transportation, telecommunications, utilities, hospitals, schools, and post-secondary institutions.
  • A business cost advantage. Alberta cities rank among the most cost competitive in the world when it comes to the cost of establishing and operating a business, according to studies released by KPMG Consulting (The Competitive Alternatives International Report). This study measures and ranks the combined impact of 27 location-sensitive cost factors for 17 types of business operations across 128 cities in nine countries. Edmonton and Calgary rank second and fourth, respectively, among 21 large Midwest U.S. and Western Canadian locations. Alberta has the lowest overall tax system in Canada and it is the only province without a provincial retail sales tax.
  • A leading economic growth rate. Over the past five years, Alberta had the highest average annual rate of economic growth in Canada (3.8%). Alberta’s economy contracted by 0.2% in 2008 and is expected to contract by 2% in 2009 due to the global economic downturn. However, analysts believe that Alberta will fully recover and continue to lead the country in economic growth over the long term.
  • A rapidly growing export economy. Alberta’s exports of goods and services more than tripled between 1998 and 2008 to $118.7 billion. A growing number of those exports are manufactured products and services. Exports of manufactured goods more than doubled over the same period to $70.1 billion. Alberta’s manufacturing sector is closely tied to the resource sector. About two-thirds of manufacturing output consists of value-added resource products.
  • A growing, skilled labour force. More than 500,000 jobs were created between 1998 and 2008. Alberta’s average unemployment rate in 2008 was the lowest in Canada at 3.6%.
  • A high growth investment environment. Alberta consistently records the highest investment per capita among Canadian provinces, with a total of $87 billion in investment in 2008, and a projected $74.8 billion in 2009. In 2008, Alberta investment per capita was $24,262, more than twice the national average of $10,387. Increased investment in utilities, transportation, information and communications technologies, retail trade, manufacturing and business services is expected to sustain investment growth over the next three to four years. Energy investment is expected to bounce back from its current slump.
  • A diversified resource sector, including the world’s second largest oil reserves (oil sands), status as the world’s second largest gas exporter, one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies, an abundance of sustainable forest reserves, and globally significant tourism attractions and infrastructure.
  • Modern infrastructure in Alberta includes advanced technology, extensive transportation networks, quality education and training facilities, superior research and development and competitively priced commercial and industrial real estate.
  • Quality of life. Affordable cost of living, advanced education and health care facilities, a strong and resilient economy, clean air and water, and Alberta's diverse and inspired landscape contribute to a superior quality of life in Alberta.

Source: interpreted from