The Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Thursday launched the Nova Scotia-China Engagement Strategy here to boost its trade with China.
Nova Scotia's Premier Stephen McNeil said he believes the strategy and his province's relationship with China will mean more economic growth for Nova Scotia.
"As the fastest growing market on earth, China has been and continues to be a strategic global market for Nova Scotia. We know that more export to China means more jobs for Nova Scotians," said the premier.
With the strategy, Nova Scotia will enhance its relationship with China by building mutually beneficial trade, investment, business, political, and cultural ties.
The strategy focuses on the province's competitive strengths in "sectors of opportunity," including seafood, energy, tourism, ocean technology, information technology, and education. It also outlines plans to strengthen relationships within the Chinese business community and support Nova Scotia businesses that already have access to China's market.
"Nova Scotia is the first province of Canada in history of Chinese-Canadian relationship to have made a strategy to develop its trade ties with China. It is very significant," said Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui.
Stewart Beck, president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, said the key is to tap into China's burgeoning middle class that is larger than the populations of Canada, the United States and Mexico combined.
"It's this Chinese middle class -- with its enormous demands for high quality, diverse and safe foodstuffs, for quality education, for unique tourist experiences, for logistics and for clean tech to remediate the environment -- all things that we do very well here in Nova Scotia," he said.
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three maritime provinces and is the second-smallest province in Canada, with an area of 55,284 square kilometers and a population of nearly 1 million.
China is Nova Scotia's second largest trading partner in the world. Exports to China totaled 420 million Canadian dollars (about 334 million U.S. dollars) last year, an increase of more than 50 percent from 2014. In comparison, Nova Scotia exported 490 million Canadian dollars to the entire European Union in 2015.