Nova Sco­tia in­creases busi­ness in China mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By NA LI in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

To Keith Col­well, Nova Sco­tia’s min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture, China is a won­der­ful place to do busi­ness.

“I love Chi­nese cul­ture, Chi­nese peo­ple, and I love do­ing busi­ness in China,” said Col­well, who has been to the coun­try four times. “We do busi­ness there very suc­cess­fully. We ex­port lots of prod­ucts to China, and I find it’s easy to do busi­ness in China.”

Col­well made his com­ments last week in Toronto at the Canada China Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards event hosted by the Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil where Nova Sco­tia was given the Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment award for in­creas­ing busi­ness and deep­en­ing ties with China.

China is Nova Sco­tia’s se­cond-largest trad­ing part­ner af­ter the US. Ex­ports from Nova Sco­tia to China to­taled $611 mil­lion in 2017 com­pared to $64 mil­lion in 2008. Nova Sco­tia seafood ex­ports to China have in­creased from $16 mil­lion in 2000 to $382 mil­lion in 2017.

“I want to be the big­gest sup­plier to China, more than the US. Chi­nese cul­ture is dif­fer­ent with Cana­dian but we are to­tally en­joy­ing it. We are look­ing for a long-term re­la­tion­ship with our part­ners in China,” Col­well said.

Nova Sco­tia in­tro­duced a China strat­egy to en­hance its re­la­tion­ship with the world’s se­cond-largest econ­omy. It serves to co­or­di­nate ex­port growth, for­mal agree­ments, a Nova Sco­tia-China Live Lob­ster qual­ity project, the Nova Sco­tia seafood brand and trans­porta­tion.

Ian Smith is CEO of Clear­wa­ter Seafoods in Nova Sco­tia, Canada’s largest seafood com­pany. Founded in 1976, Clear­wa­ter en­tered the China mar­ket in 1994.

“Be­yond the tra­di­tional mar­kets in Canada or in the United States, we saw that the Chi­nese mar­ket has a great ap­pre­ci­a­tion for high-qual­ity seafood. We also found Chi­nese con­sumers ap­pre­ci­ate a good brand, and that’s why we de­vel­oped the Clear­wa­ter brand in China,” he said.

Clear­wa­ter has cap­i­tal­ized on China’s boom­ing on­line seafood mar­ket. In 2017, the com­pany opened a flag­ship store on Alibaba’s e-com­merce plat­form, Tmall.com, for con­sumers to pur­chase its prod­ucts. Clear­wa­ter’s prod­ucts also are avail­able on­line in China from JD.

“Both e-com­merce plat­forms pro­vide us the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther di­ver­sify into the China mar­ket­place by reach­ing con­sumers di­rectly with our prod­ucts,” Smith said.

“The more you un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate China and the Chi­nese, the more you know that any­thing is pos­si­ble,” said Smith, who lived in Shanghai with his fam­ily from 2006 to 2009. “The open­ing up of China and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of China not only im­proved the lives of Chi­nese peo­ple but also im­proved the lives of many peo­ple around the world,” he said.

“Now China counts for al­most 40 per­cent of global trade,’’ Smith said, adding that for a coun­try not to col­lab­o­rate and do busi­ness with China “just doesn’t make sense’’.

NA LI / CHINA DAILY

Keith Col­well, Nova Sco­tia’s min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture (third from left), and Clear­wa­ter Seafoods CEO Ian Smith (se­cond from right), re­ceived the Canada China Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards pre­sented by the Canada China Busi­ness Coun­cil last week in Toronto.

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