Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. (STAFF)
Stephen McNeil is flying to China on Tuesday to boost Nova Scotia business.
The premier hopes to strengthen ties with China, the province’s second-largest trading partner, and to bolster the Halifax airport and port, according to a release from the premier’s office.
Kelliann Dean, deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs, and Albert Walzak, director of international relations, as well as an RCMP security detail, will accompany McNeil.
The premier does not have plans to stop in Beijing or to meet with the China Communication Construction Company, which has been in discussions with Novaporte, the municipally-backed company in Sydney that hopes to build a container terminal.
Various businesses and post-secondary institutions are sending representatives with the premier, but they will pay their own way, confirmed premier’s office spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster.
Other government agencies that are sending representatives include Nova Scotia Business Inc., the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and the Halifax International Airport Authority.
The 11-day mission will take in nine cities in China, including Hong Kong. In the final days of the tour, McNeil will leave China to spend two days in Seoul and Tokyo.
According to the premier’s office, exports from Nova Scotia to China totalled $420 million in 2015, an increase of more than 50 per cent from 2014. China is Nova Scotia’s third largest seafood export market, accounting for $210 million of the province’s $1.7 billion in fish and seafood exports.
Expenses will be posted online once the delegation is back, Foster stated.