Nova Scotia Continues its Competitive Lead

Mar 21, 2006

Nova Scotians continue to show this province's competitive strength to the world. Four centres in Nova Scotia have once again ranked among the best sites for doing international business, according to KPMG's 2006 Competitive Alternatives report, released today, March 21.

Truro, Pictou, Sydney and Halifax are ranked among the top 10 Canadian centres, and Halifax once again ranks among the top five in a comparison of large, international centres from North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

"Nova Scotians are showing the world our determination and the success it brings," said Premier Rodney MacDonald. "This is why Nova Scotia continues to be one of the best places to conduct business on the world stage."     

KPMG's study measures 27 elements where cost may vary from location to location. These include: labour, facility costs, transportation, utilities and income taxes. The report uses the United States as its benchmark of business costs by which centres from the other countries are measured.

Some highlights of the report include:

  • Truro garnered the top spot in this year's ranking of centres within Canada, Pictou ranked second and Sydney ranked tenth
  • KPMG measured 49 Canadian centres for its 2006 ranking, 10 more centres than two years ago
  • Halifax is the only Nova Scotia city included in KPMG's survey of 95 large, international centres from the G7 nations plus Singapore. Halifax achieved fifth place in this competitive analysis.

"It's no accident that Nova Scotia is home to some of the best centres for international, national and local business," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). "Nova Scotia has the right mix: cost competitiveness, innovation, highly educated workers and Nova Scotia is strategically linked to world markets. This combination is why Nova Scotia has been so successful in attracting world class companies over the past several years."

Overall, the report concludes that Canada continues to lead among G7 nations in terms of cost competitiveness; this is despite the Canadian dollar's rise in value relative to the U.S. since the last KPMG survey released in 2004. The KPMG report concludes that Canada holds a 5.5 per cent cost advantage over the U.S.

This year marks the first time KPMG has included Singapore, a newly industrialized country, in the analysis comparing large, international centres located across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. When compared against U.S. benchmark business costs, Singapore's advantage was 22.3 per cent. 

KPMG's report provides essential information for companies seeking a cost advantage in locating international business operations. KPMG measures industries ranging from software to manufacturing and from corporate services to research and development. Within these industries, the report authors track how costs vary every two years within 12 specific industry operations. KPMG's detailed results are available at .   

NSBI is the business development agency for Nova Scotia, led by a private-sector board of directors. It is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps companies in Nova Scotia meet their growth potential through business advisory, export development, and financial services.

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