The New Brunswick government is looking abroad to generate revenue and create jobs in the province.
Premier David Alward announced in Dieppe on Wednesday a new export strategy, designed to get more New Brunswick businesses to export their goods.
The five-year plan, entitled Growing Global Markets, aims to get 175 companies to sell overseas, said Alward.
That will create more than 4,000 jobs in existing export sectors, such as seafood and forestry products, as well as new export areas, such as information technology and biotechnology, he said.
"For every $1 million in exports, six jobs are sustainable here in New Brunswick," Alward told the crowd.
New Brunswick has the capacity to generate $700 million in exports and the government has come up with 10 initiatives to help make that happen, he said.
Will connect buyers with sellers
Among them: "Create new opportunities, diversify our markets into Europe, into China, into other parts."
Justin McGuigan is looking to China as a place to sell his cedar log home kits.
"We can absolutely grow," said McGuigan, who has been to China once so far and plans to go back again later on this year. "There is huge hunger for our product there."
His company, Riverbend Log Homes, will design virtually any building, then ship the cedar kit with its engineered drawings, said McGuigan. Selling to China is easier with the government's help, he said.
'We're hoping that on the financial side, there could be some funds available, that we could be more close to our market, be more direct to our customers.' —Mike Breau, Ocean Pier Inc.
"What they did was a lot of background planning to match us…with verified clients who had already been in place."
In addition to connecting local businesses with foreign ones, the government's strategy will focus on providing training, giving advice and planning transportation.
Mike Breau hopes the government's plan will help his processing plant in Scoudouc, Ocean Pier Inc., go international.
"Europe is a huge market, for us it could be another $10 million in sales, quickly," said Breau.
"We're hoping that on the financial side, there could be some funds available, that we could be more close to our market, be more direct to our customers, build our customers, especially in the European market, it takes a lot of money to develop in that area."
The premier did not say how much the government will invest in the new strategy, but says his government has set targets to ensure the project's success.
"Growing New Brunswick's export economy is a key part of our plan to rebuild New Brunswick," Alward said, noting New Brunswick is Canada's most trade-driven province.
"This strategy focuses on helping local companies connect with global markets to drive job creation, growth, and investment here at home."
It takes into consideration the province's priority growth sectors, traditional core industries and the strengths and assets in each region of the province, said Alward.
The 10 initiatives include:
- Transition to an account manager support model.
- Deliver a suite of export training.
- Provide export information and advice.
- Connect buyers with sellers.
- Leveraging transportation infrastructure.
- Establish an export readiness unit.
- Engage major exporters.
- Partner collaboration.
- Rebuild assistance programs.
- Develop a marketing and communications plan for exports.