Feb 11, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government encouraged closer trade ties with China and expanded opportunities for New Brunswick companies in major Chinese markets during a trade mission to Beijing, Hebei and Shenzhen last week.
Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau led the mission, with participation from 12 companies in a variety of fields, including post-secondary education, value-added wood manufacturing, water treatment and organic compost.
"I was enormously proud to represent our companies and to tell the story of what our government is doing to make New Brunswick one of the best places in the world to do business," said Boudreau. "Everywhere we went, I told potential Chinese investors about our low taxes, our universal access to high-speed Internet, our plan for lower power rates through renewable energy and our investments in roads, bridges, ports and airports. This mission is just another example of how this government is seizing every opportunity we can to create jobs and prosperity for New Brunswickers."
While in China, New Brunswick companies met with potential clients and suppliers, attended seminars and participated in networking activities.
The mission was co-ordinated by Enterprise Chaleur and supported by a $99,000 contribution from Business New Brunswick. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) invested $110,000 through the Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership program. The funding paid for activities leading up to the mission, including cultural and business training for participants; match-making activities; and a post-mission follow-up.
"The Government of Canada is committed to helping Atlantic Canadians compete internationally and, in turn, generating opportunities at home," said National Revenue Minister Keith Ashfield, who is also the minister of ACOA and minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "Trade missions such as this one are catalysts for business prosperity. By supporting this mission, ACOA is helping to create new exporters and helping existing exporters increase their markets."
During the mission, Boudreau conducted two well-attended investment seminars for potential investors in Beijing and Shenzhen. He also met with senior government officials responsible for economic development, housing development and foreign trade in Beijing, Hebei and Shenzhen.
The Port of Belledune made formal presentations in Beijing and Shenzhen to groups of Chinese investors and business people from a wide range of sectors including transportation, energy, infrastructure and shipping.
Three companies that participated in the mission are planning return trips within the next few months: Green Imaging Technologies Inc., Global MLX Inc., and Lansbridge University.
Léon Chouinard & Fils Cie Ltée anticipates a follow-up visit from clients in February. ProCare Water Treatment Inc. has identified a China market representative, and organic compost manufacturer Cardwell Farms Compost Products Inc. has decided to seek certification to supply the Chinese horticultural industry.
In late 2009, China emerged as New Brunswick's third-largest market, with more than $105 million in exports shipped from January to October of that year, including nearly $80 million in zinc, $7.5 million in pulp products and $5 million in seafood products. This represented an increase of more than $60 million in exports to China compared to 2006.
In May 2009, Business New Brunswick sponsored a follow-up mission to China with seven companies, resulting in immediate sales of approximately $275,000.
In November 2008, Premier Shawn Graham led a delegation of 13 New Brunswick companies on the Council of the Federation Mission to China, which resulted in new contracts valued around $90 million over five years.
"We recognize the importance of Chinese markets in terms of exports for our companies and in attracting new investment to New Brunswick," said Boudreau. "As we look to a self-sufficient future for this province, we must also look to new and emerging markets for our products and services. I am confident this will result in more business and investment for New Brunswick."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is a list of New Brunswick that participated in the trade mission to China. MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Bursey, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-453-2694.
New Brunswick companies participating in the trade mission to China