Manitoba's Strategic Advantages

Business Development

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Manitoba is a developed, diverse and dynamic economy with stable economic growth. Key components of the economy include manufacturing, agriculture, hydroelectricity, and natural resources.


Diverse Economy
Although Manitoba is rich in natural resources and fertile farmland, the provincial economy is not dependent on any single industry or commodity. 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.

Low Business Costs
Affordable industrial land and office rents, electricity at some of the lowest rates in North America, and productive, skilled workers at competitive wages give Manitoba a distinct business advantage. Manitoba has some of the most affordable industrial properties in Canada. Winnipeg’s industrial parks are conveniently located near major transport facilities and properties in other Manitoba cities and towns have convenient highway access. Average net rental rates for class A office space are lower in central Winnipeg than virtually every major centre in Canada. Manitoba Hydro, the provincial electric utility, has published electricity rates that are among the lowest in North America. Manitoba Hydro also provides high system reliability: its power outage frequency and average outage times are substantially lower than the respective composite average of other Canadian utilities.

Strong Export Trade
Our province is a major force in exporting goods around the world. Since our economy is very diverse, so are our export products. Top exports include pharmaceuticals, wheat, pork, canola and canola oil, buses, frozen vegetables and agricultural machinery. Being a close business community, Manitoba provides good support for businesses that want to start or diversify their exports to multiple regions. As part of Canada, we can leverage 14 trade agreements with over 50 countries around the world, including CUSMA (North America), CETA (Europe), CPTPP (Trans-Pacific), among others.

Manitoba's Key Industries

  • Advanced Manufacturing – Winnipeg is a hub for advanced manufacturing. Our five largest sub-sectors (in revenues) are food, transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals, and fabricated metals.

  • Aerospace – We are the largest aerospace manufacturing centre in Western Canada and third largest in the country for exports. Companies based in Manitoba include StandardAero, Boeing Canada, and Magellan Aerospace.

  • Agribusiness – We produce about 10% of Canada’s agricultural products. Many of Canada’s leading international agribusiness companies, industry associations, and world-class agri-food research and development centers are located in our province. Major food processing products include meat, frozen french fries, grain and vegetable oils, dairy, animal feed and a variety of vegetables.

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) – We have a growing community of small- and medium-sized ICT companies with diverse skills and expertise in systems design, health informatics, e-learning, master data management, financial software, security, wired and wireless communications, mobile, web and cloud applications, visual and motion graphics, and video gaming.

  • Creative Industries – We have a close and engaging community of companies dedicated to digital imaging, animation, special effects, gaming, and film production. We provide support to this sector in the form of tax credits and the development of education programs.

  • Energy and Environment – We have multiple businesses engaged in environmental consulting, remediation, recycling, waste, water/wastewater management and energy production. The International Institute for Sustainable Development's head office is located in Winnipeg.

  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology – We are the leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centre in Western Canada. Manitoba is home to numerous life sciences research & development centres, including the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, which is the only Level 4 bio-containment lab in the country. 
  • Mining and Minerals – Manitoba is home to a wealth of natural resources, world-class deposits and underexplored remote regions of high mineral potential. Our quality geoscience data coupled with our rich natural resources forms a solid foundation for Manitoba’s minerals sector.

  • Tourism – As one of the province's leading industries, tourism has unlimited potential for growth. Travel Manitoba is aiming to grow annual tourist visits to Manitoba by 19% relative to 2016 levels, to reach 12.6 million annual visitors in 2022. This growth will lead to a broad range of economic, social and environmental benefits for our visitors, residents and communities.

  • Transportation and Distribution – Due to our central location, we are ideally positioned to be an e-commerce hub. We also have the advantage of tri-modal transportation (rail, air, land) and the highest contribution from this sector to a provincial GDP in Canada.

Manitoba Sector Council Program

Corporate tax credits and incentives


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