Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Luo Zhaohui, China's ambassador to Canada, chat at a luncheon in Halifax in April. The province and the Chinese province of Shandong have signed a trade agreement they dub a “twinning pact.” (Andrew Vaughan/CP)
Nova Scotia has signed a twinning agreement with the Chinese province of Shandong which will see an increase of trade and investment between the two.
Premier Stephen McNeil and Governor Guo Shuqing signed the agreement Sunday in Jinan, China. It was part of McNeil’s 11-day mission to Asia.
The agreement builds on a 20-year-old friendship agreement Nova Scotia has with the Chinese province.
“Nova Scotia and Shandong have a long-standing relationship but this memorandum of understanding enhances it, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, research and education, and tourism,” said McNeil in a news release.
Nova Scotia businesses and institutions will see increased opportunities as a result of the agreement, according to the release.
Academic institutions and researchers in the province also have an existing relationship with Shandong — Dalhousie University has a partnership with both Shandong University and Ocean University of China, which is located in Qingdao.
Exports to China totalled $420 million in 2015, a more than 50-per-cent increase from 2014. In addition, China is the third-largest seafood export market for Nova Scotia, receiving $210 million of the Nova Scotia’s $1.7 billion in fish and seafood exports.
Nova Scotia is the only Canadian province to have a formal engagement strategy with China.