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Regional Spotlight: Alberta

Edmonton downtown skyline showing Walterdale Bridge across Saskatchewan River and surrounding skyscrapers.
News Type
Insights
By
Invest in Canada
Date

Alberta, one of Canada’s western provinces, is renowned not only for its diverse landscape and abundant natural resources, but also for its thriving business ecosystem. Offering a strategic location, robust infrastructure, competitive business environment, and skilled workforce, Alberta makes an enticing destination for investment. As this dynamic province continues to evolve and grow, it remains poised to play a significant role in shaping Canada’s future economic landscape. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Attraction 

Alberta stands out as a prime destination for FDI, offering an array of compelling advantages that attract global investors: 

  • Abundant natural resources particularly in the energy sector; 

  • A competitive business environment with lower operating costs, a competitive tax rate and policies that are conducive to business and investment;  

  • A focus on Innovation and Technology particularly in sectors like clean energy, agriculture, and technology, which have been pivotal in attracting investors looking to invest in future-oriented industries;  

  • A skilled workforce known for its expertise and adaptability providing businesses with the human capital necessary for success;  

  • A robust infrastructure, including well-developed transportation and logistics networks, which facilitate trade and commerce; and 

  • A strategic location, providing investors with access to key markets, further enhancing its appeal as an investment destination. 
     

“With its innovative ecosystem, skilled talent, rich resources, and strategic location, Alberta stands as a prime destination for global companies eyeing expansion. Invest in Canada is dedicated to showcasing Alberta’s unparalleled opportunities for growth and prosperity on the global stage and facilitating impactful investments that benefit both businesses and communities.” — Laurel Broten, CEO of Invest in Canada 
 

FDI in action: Dow and Mondi 

In a groundbreaking investment decision, chemical giant Dow selected Alberta as the site for the world’s first net-zero carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivative facility. This world-leading project, announced in November 2023, is poised to generate $1B in economic growth annually and create thousands of jobs. Alberta’s competitive advantage in natural gas costs, along with its cost-advantaged ethane resources, played a pivotal role in Dow’s decision-making process. 
 

“In Alberta, investment isn’t just about numbers – it is about showcasing the dynamic environment where innovation thrives and partnerships flourish. As Canada’s economic powerhouse and one of the fastest growing provinces in the country, Alberta is advancing economic diversification and prosperity by attracting investment in clean energy, technology, aviation, manufacturing, and more. Multinational giants such as Dow, Amazon, POSCO, and Sumitomo are actively spearheading their net-zero agendas, bringing billions in investment to the region now recognized as a global leader in clean energy solutions.” – Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta 
 

Aerial view of the Dow net-zero carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives site in Fort Saskatchewan

Dow Facility in Fort Saskatchewan 


Another testament to Alberta’s immense appeal as a destination for foreign investment, Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper manufacturing, recently announced a significant project. In February 2024, Mondi completed its acquisition of a pulp mill in the Hinton region. The company unveiled an ambitious two-phased project aimed at enhancing the productivity and sustainability performance of the pulp mill. The first phase of the project involves comprehensive upgrades to the mill’s infrastructure, focusing on enhancing power generation and energy efficiency. The second phase, contingent upon pre-engineering, permitting, and market development, aims to propel the facility into the future by introducing a state-of-the-art integrated kraft paper machine. 
 

“We are very grateful for the support and help of Invest Alberta and Invest in Canada because they helped us to connect with the right stakeholders to open the right doors, to understand the local priorities and processes. Thank to them we were able to take the right decisions in the right sequence.” – Roman Senecky, COO, Kraft Paper, Mondi 
 

Aerial view of the Hinton Pulp Mill in Hinton, Alberta

Hinton Pulp Mill in Hinton, Alberta 


Dow and Mondi’s investments in Alberta will not only create new job opportunities, but also ignite economic vitality, drive sustainable economic growth, and foster multi-industry innovation. 

About Alberta 

Alberta, one of the three Prairie Provinces in Canada, is home to a rapidly growing population of more than 4.6 million, including nearly 200,000 new residents in 2023 alone, representing the biggest net in-migration in history and more than any other province. Alberta features two large urban centres including the capital Edmonton, and the bustling city of Calgary. Bordering the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the west and east respectively, Alberta also shares boundaries with the United States to the south, making it a strategic hub for trade and commerce with easy access to major markets in both Canada and the United States. 

The province’s educational institutions play a vital role in nurturing talent and driving innovation. Alberta is home to renowned universities and colleges offering a wide range of programs in engineering, computer science, business and other fields. In fact, its post-secondary institutions are the third-largest supplier of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates in Canada, contributing to its reputation as a centre for research and innovation attracting students and professionals from around the world. 

Alberta’s economic strength is rooted in its abundant natural resources and boasts significant deposits of minerals further contributing to its resource-rich economy. The province offers a diverse landscape with opportunities across a spectrum of industries from renewable energy to clean technology to agricultural food manufacturing. With a growing emphasis on renewable energy and sustainability, Alberta’s renewable energy sector accounted for more than 92% of Canada’s overall growth in renewable energy and storage capacity. This remarkable growth can be attributed to the province’s commitment to expanding wind and solar energy production. In fact, Alberta is on track to not only meet, but exceed its target set in 2016 to generate 30% of its total electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Alberta is also making strides in carbon capture technology and offers several competitive advantages to enable carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and attract investment to the province. 

With the lowest corporate tax in Canada, Alberta offers a competitive environment and reduced business costs. The province also provides financial incentives to encourage private sector investments fostering economic growth and innovation. 

City skyline of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Calgary, Alberta.
 

“Jobs, Economy and Trade (JET) works with Invest Alberta and partner ministries to ensure Alberta’s government is coordinated in our response to investor interest in Alberta, where the rapidly growing and highly skilled workforce provides an attractive location for potential investors. JET also provides funding programs and a suite of investor-focused tools, such as the Alberta Economic Dashboard and the recently released Alberta Site Selector Tool, which help investors find the right opportunities in Alberta and support our economic development partners to promote their respective communities as a destination of choice. Alberta’s rich natural resources, thriving agricultural sector, efficient rail connections, international airports and an extensive road network continue to form the basis for an active and growing economy.” – Diane McCann-Hiltz, Executive Director, Economic Intelligence and Investment Services, JET
 

Partner Spotlight 

In a dynamic and evolving investment landscape, these organizations are at the forefront of securing transformational projects, exemplified by Dow’s and Mondi’s initiatives, which hold the promise of shaping the future of Alberta. 

Invest Alberta engages the world and provides high-end tailored support to companies, investors, and major new projects. With team members strategically positioned in key markets around the world, Invest Alberta works to break down barriers so businesses can start up, scale up, and succeed without limits. Since 2020, Invest Alberta has supported the commitment of nearly $20 billion in investment that created more than 23,000 new jobs for Albertans.  

Alberta’s government has created an investment-friendly environment with the lowest corporate income tax rate in Canada and one of the lowest in North America. Alberta also has no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax and no health care premiums. They offer a comprehensive set of investment incentives from tax credits, grants, funding programs, and research and development program support that can be applied across many business sectors. Their government offers comprehensive investment support services, including concierge services, investment and economic research, site selection assistance and more, to help businesses choose Alberta for their next global expansion location. 

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is a non-profit economic development organization for Alberta’s Industrial Heartland (AIH). The Industrial Heartland is Canada’s largest hydrocarbon region located near Edmonton, Alberta. Their team of experts work with investors work to attract investment, support infrastructure development, and foster innovation within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland with the goal of creating a thriving hub for petrochemical, manufacturing, and energy industries. 

Proudly representing a region that has it all, Edmonton Global is an FDI and international business development agency that represents 14 municipalities in the Edmonton region. With a focus on making this region the choice location for global investment and building a sustainable and prosperous future, the purpose of Edmonton Global is to radically transform and grow the economy of the Edmonton region. They are advocates and connectors, dedicated to facilitating relationships between our innovation and support network, businesses at home, and investors abroad.

Calgary Economic Development (CED) is an opportunity-maker, helping to spark and fuel Calgary’s growth. CED stewards the city’s economic strategy, with the mandate to position Calgary for long-term economic success by supporting the expansion, retention and acquisition of companies, capital and talent. They offer a wealth of information to help everyone succeed and they tirelessly promote Calgary, in Canada and around the world. 

Invest Alberta logo
Alberta, Canada logo
Alberta's Industrial Heartland logo
Edmonton Global logo
Calgary Economic Development logo

 

Invest in Canada ensures that businesses considering Alberta have the necessary tools and insights to make an informed investment decision. Invest in Canada provides a suite of comprehensive services tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, from business advisory services to strategic introductions, custom research, and facilitating incentive packages. Leveraging established connections with regional stakeholders and possessing an in-depth understanding of relevant programs in the region, Invest in Canada's regional team ensures seamless navigation of the investment landscape.