Focus industries

Halifax is the vibrant, prosperous capital of Canada’s East Coast. With low business costs, a highly educated workforce, its ocean advantage and thriving industry sectors, Halifax provides all the right ingredients for businesses to succeed and grow

IT and Gaming

Nova Scotia is home to a diversified information, gaming and interactive media sector, which includes more than 600 companies. Primarily based in Halifax, the sector provides employment for approximately 23,000 people in Nova Scotia

Halifax is a Top 5 Canadian tech hub, ranking #2 for tech diversity and wage growth.  Some of the world's most recognizable IT companies are based here, including IBM, CGI, Citco, NTT Data, and DHX Media.

"Halifax is simply a great place to establish a business. Building a business here makes sense."

Financial Services

With one of the largest concentrations of financial services companies in Canada, Halifax is a global destination for shared services, middle/back office operations in banking, fund administration, and insurance.

  • Halifax has almost 2,000  financial services  rms that employ about 16,000 people.

  • Halifax is the regional headquarters of Canada’s largest banks—“the Big 5”.

  • Halifax is home to a number of global  financial services providers including Citco Fund Services, Marsh, Mitsubishi UFJFund Services, Admiral Insurance, Maitland Group and Conifer Financial Services.

  • Halifax is strategically located. With our North American time zone,  financial services companies can easily do business with Europe and across North America on the same work day. Travel to and from global financial hubs like New York and London is also easy with direct air connections from Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Ocean Technology

It should be no surprise that Halifax is a world leader in the oceans sector, given its strategic location on North America’s eastcoast, the focus of its universities and community colleges, and the depth of its science-based workforce.

Halifax is Canada’s Ocean City, a global hub for ocean science, research, technology, and defence. Opening in 2018, the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship invites global ocean enterprises to take advantage of Halifax’s R&D advantages and innovation ecosystem.

The sector itself is broad, and includes goods and services providers engaged in oceans technology,  fisheries and aquaculture,life sciences, shipbuilding, and ocean observation, as well as marine-centric defence and security, transportation, life sciences and energy. Local companies within the sector often play in two or more of these ocean industries.

Halifax and the region’s economy benef t significantly from the oceans sector. It directly generates 6.9% of Nova Scotia’s Gross Domestic Product, with an economic impact of $2.5 billion.

Transportation & Logistics 

Built for speed and volume, the Halifax Gateway offers a winning combination of multimodal transportation and logistics services, modern infrastructure, exceptional service, and global reach. It includes the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the International Port of Halifax, two super post-panamax container terminals, CN Rail, a strong logistics and warehousing sector, and excellent class 1 highway infrastructure.

Halifax is strategically located between major North American, European and Asian markets. Halifax is 1,500 nautical miles closer to India via the Suez Canalthan any other North American west coast port, and one full day closer to Southeast Asia than any other North American east coast container port.

  • Flights from Halifax to New York, Boston and Montréal are less than two hours

  • New York and Boston are one day away by sea

Aerospace & Defence

Home to more than 40% of Canada’s military assets and 10,700 DND and Canadian Forces personnel, Halifax has a dynamic defence and security cluster largely focused on the marine environment. Our private sector strengths in this area include technologies related to military, search and rescue, surveillance, port security and system integration. The local industry is intimately tied to Canadian military procurement, and is undertaking large-scale Department of National Defence projects, including the modernization of DND’s 12 Halifax class frigates, known as the Halifax Class Modernization/ Frigate Life Extension Project (HCM-FELEX), and the $30.2 billion combat vessel contract under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Oil & Gas

Halifax is a member of the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP), an organization of 19 international cities that have a core focus on energy (oil, gas, and renewables). Halifax’s offshore technology firms have deep experience in the offshore oil and gas industry, having provided much of the engineering, seismic survey, modeling and forecasting, production and processing, and underwater intervention support during the Sable Island Offshore Energy and the Deep Panuke projects. Future opportunities to support oil and gas industry work are expected as Shell Canada and BP prepare to undertake exploration projects of deepwater parcels located on the Scotian Shelf, 200 kilometres (125 miles) off Nova Scotia’s south west coast. There could be up to seven wells by 2019.