OTTAWA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper touted the country's relative economic health as he listed his government's achievements in the past year.
In a statement released Monday, Harper said that by making the public sector more efficient and cutting debt Canada had finished the year with one of the strongest economies in the Group of Seven countries.
"The international community has taken note of our success this year: Forbes magazine has ranked Canada as number one in its annual review of the best countries for business; for the fifth year in a row, the World Economic Forum has rated Canada's banking system as the world's soundest; and both the IMF and OECD expect Canada to be among the strongest growing economies in the G-7 next year," he added.
In 2012, Canada also improved its immigration system and strengthened the relationship between the national government and the indigenous population, known in Canada as First Nations, Harper said. The Responsible Resource Development Plan and quicker approval of energy projects will also help the economy, he added.
Harper praised Canada's participation in the Summer Olympics in London, resulting in 49 medals. The country also welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for its local celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
"In the coming year, we will work hard to achieve progress on priority issues for Canadians. We are deeply honoured to have been given a majority mandate, and we will continue to meet the needs and expectations of all Canadians, with a focus on promoting jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and the well-being of our citizens."