Vol. 39, No. 4, Winter 2005
Since 1980, the Chinese economy has grown by more than 9% a year, the most rapid expansion of any country in the world. While the United States remains Atlantic Canada’s most significant trading partner, export growth to China, Taiwan and Hong Kong has been much stronger, averaging 26% annually since 1991. Atlantic merchandise exports to Asia, totaling $1.23 billion in 2003, were dominated by resource products, primarily unprocessed fish products. It is essential however, that Atlantic Canada continues to further diversify towards advanced manufacturing and higher-end services, since the region simply cannot compete on the enormous price differential offered by Asian producers for low-end products. Atlantic businesses must develop market-responsive strategies, including shifting to niche markets, building global production chains and moving up the value chain.