Until the early 20th century, Canada was primarily an agricultural nation. Since then it has become one of the most highly industrialized countries in the world. To a large extent the manufacturing industries are supplied with raw materials produced by the agricultural, mining, forestry, and fishing sectors of the Canadian economy.
The unit of currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar, which consists of 100 cents. The Bank of Canada has the sole right to issue paper money for circulation. Most foreign-owned and major domestic banks have their head offices in Toronto; a few are based in Montreal. Trust and mortgage loan companies, provincial savings banks, and credit unions also provide banking services. Securities exchanges operate in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver.
The per capita foreign trade of Canada ranks among the highest of any nation in the world.
Most of Canada's foreign trade is with the United States, which typically takes about four-fifths of Canada's exports and supplies more than two-thirds of its imports. Components of Canadian exports are increasingly manufactured items; while resource exports such as minerals, timber, and grains are still important, their share of total export volume is decreasing.
The leading products Canada sells abroad include automobiles, trucks, motor-vehicle parts, crude petroleum, lumber, newsprint, wood pulp, wheat, industrial machinery, natural gas, office machines, and aluminum. Principal imports are motor-vehicle parts, automobiles, general purpose and specialized machinery, chemicals, computers, crude petroleum, telecommunications equipment, and fruit and vegetables.
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