Manitoba's Strategic Advantages: Business and the Economy

Manitoba’s diversity of skills and cultures is a business asset. Manitoba is a developed, diverse and dynamic economy with stable economic growth and one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates. Key components of the economy include manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, hydroelectricity, and natural resources.

Although Manitoba is rich in natural resources and fertile farmland, the provincial economy is not dependent on any single industry or commodity. In fact, studies by Moody’s Investors Services of New York have shown that Winnipeg has one of Canada’s most diverse urban economies. This diversity has led to an unemployment rate that is consistently among the lowest in Canada and provides long-term economic stability, ensuring that Manitoba firms have access to a variety of supplies and services.

The diverse manufacturing base – which includes aerospace materials, buses, building products, machinery, furniture, electronics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and processed foods – allows Manitoba’s economy to prosper even when prices for cyclical commodities decline.

Our province is a major force in exporting goods around the world. Leading export markets – after the United States – are China/ Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Manitoba's Key Industries include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Agribusiness
  • Creative Industries
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Financial Services
  • Furniture and Building Products
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Mining and Minerals
  • Tourism
  • Transportation and Distribution

Manitoba produces about ten per cent of the nation’s agricultural products. Livestock accounts for about one-third of market receipts, while crops — including canola, wheat, soybeans, flax, other grains, pulses and vegetables — account for two-thirds. Based on strong fundamentals in the supply of raw agricultural products, skilled workers and a competitive cost environment, food processing is the largest manufacturing sub-industry in Manitoba, accounting for 26 per cent of manufacturing sales in 2018. Major food processing products in Manitoba include processed meat, frozen french fries, formed potato products, grain and oilseed products, dairy products, agricultural feed products and a variety of vegetables. Food processing continues to grow, with major new investments in dairy, meat, potato and pea processing facilities across Manitoba.

International studies of business costs conducted by KPMG have consistently shown the competitiveness of business costs in Manitoba. According to the most recent edition of KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives study, Winnipeg ranks as the lowest-cost city in which to conduct business in the North American midwest.

Detailed analysis of the Manitoba economy can be found in the Manitoba Budget Papers as well as the Manitoba's Economic Analysis and Research Unit website.


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