Benefitting from direct access to the U.S. and easy access to the Pacific Rim and Europe, Alberta leads the country in exports. In 2019, the province had the second-highest exports per capita at $26,772, well above the Canadian average of $14,483.
Through 14 free trade agreements, Canada has preferred market access to 51 foreign countries.
These agreements cover a market area of more than 1.5 billion potential consumers with a combined GDP of $49.3 trillion USD. That’s half of global GDP.
The country also benefits from a shared and open border with the United States.
Fully integrated airports
Alberta has three international airports with on-site customs — in Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurray. These airports fly all over the world and move more than 2 million international travellers every year.
The airport in Edmonton and Calgary also benefit from foreign trade zones, which allow companies to import materials and unfinished products, complete manufacturing, and sell to world markets without paying taxes or tariffs.
The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is Canada’s largest airport by area and home to a specialized cargo cluster development called Cargo Village.
In 2018, the airport moved 43,000 tons of cargo. As the gateway to Canada’s north, the airport is fully integrated into the region’s logistics network and features industrial land dedicated to agri-business, logistics and distribution, aerospace and aviation, and advanced manufacturing.
To the south, Calgary International Airport is one of the fastest growing cargo airports in Canada. Over 75% of all Alberta air cargo shipments are transported through Calgary, which provides ready access to the United States — the world’s largest industrial and consumer market — by air, as well as road and rail.
Alberta is served by the two most important transcontinental freight transportation players in Canada. Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway operate approximately 7,000 route miles in Alberta, as well as several intermodal terminals.
Alberta’s extensive rail network not only allows market access across North America, but also Asian markets. The Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert, two of Canada’s largest ports, offer regular departures to major Asian markets including China, Japan, South Korea and India.
Alberta’s extensive network of pipelines, highways and telecommunications infrastructure are also attractive to companies looking to do business around the world.
More than $630 million was invested into Alberta communications networks by private and public sector in 2019.
Global and diverse ecosystem
Alberta has created a strong global network through multinational companies being part of the Alberta ecosystem and the supportive nature of Albertans connecting businesses and communities.
With over 180 different languages or dialects spoken in the province, Alberta is growing in diversity, welcoming businesses and talent to move here from all over the world.
Alberta International Offices
Alberta’s International Offices play a vital role in strengthening Alberta’s presence around the world. Staff in the international offices are fully bilingual, experts in various sectors of the local economy, and up to date on the latest developments in Alberta.
Please see our Global Offices page for more information.
Nearly twice the average exports per capita within Canada (2019)
14 free trade agreements
More than 1.5 billion potential consumers with a combined GDP of $49.3 trillion USD
Alberta Supernet provides a 14,000km fibre optic network
Calgary has the fastest 5g download speeds in the Western hemisphere (OpenSignal, 2021).
Foreign Trade Zones
First G20 to offer a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers
Global financial institutions
75% of the top 20 global investment banks have branch offices in Alberta.
6,000-kilometre trade corridor — connecting Western Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
WestGrid is one of Compute Canada’s largest high-performance computing grids
Connected by rail
Alberta is served by the two most important transcontinental freight transportation players in Canada
Extensive pipeline network
There are more than 422,000 kilometres of oil and gas pipelines in Alberta