Nova Scotia Flag and China Flag

The Nova Scotia – China Engagement Strategy

Partnering for Success

As the fastest growing market on earth and as Nova Scotia’s second-largest trading partner, China is a strategic priority for government, businesses and institutions.

For years, Nova Scotia has successfully engaged with China. Now, the province is committed to enhancing this relationship by further developing trade and investment partnerships, aligning Nova Scotia interests with the model of economic growth which China is embracing.

China is shifting some of its focus from industrial investment to innovation, with attention being placed on research in the fields of agricultural production, next-generation information technology, biotechnology, and economic and industrial efficiency. These areas of innovation and growth coincide with Nova Scotia’s expertise.

The Nova Scotia – China Engagement Strategy outlines how the province will forge a stronger alliance with China by building mutually beneficial trade, investment, business, political, and cultural relationships. To achieve this, Nova Scotia will focus on our competitive strengths; build and strengthen relationships in China; and coordinate our activities at home and in China.

Halifax skyline with Halterm cranes in the distance and sailboats in the harbour in the foreground


  • Nova Scotia exported $420 million to China in 2015.
  • 41% of Nova Scotia’s international students are from China.
  • 30 million people are joining China’s middle class each year.
  • Nova Scotia’s strategic global position and world-class transportation and shipping infrastructure ensure the reliable delivery of products.
  • The Port of Halifax has the existing capacity, water depth and infrastructure to handle the largest vessels afloat, as well as two super post-Panamax container terminals.
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport has an on-site, 650-square-metre (7,000-square foot) cold storage facility and a 3.2 km (10,500 foot) runway that can accommodate large cargo and passenger planes.

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Sectors of Opportunity

Premier McNeil presents a Nova Scotian Lobster


Nova Scotia is Canada’s largest exporter of seafood, valued at over $1.68 billion. A total of $208 million, most of which is lobster, shrimp and crab, is bound for the Chinese market. Products from Nova Scotia are assured to be safe and of the highest quality, meeting recognized global certifications and sustainability harvested.


It is estimated there are about 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and eight billion barrels of oil offshore of Nova Scotia. We are home to companies with proven capabilities in environmental research, resource assessment, fabrication, and innovative design in the tidal energy sector. Nova Scotia is a major hub for offshore resupply, servicing several offshore platform operations.


Tourism is a $2.4 billion industry in Nova Scotia, which employs 24,000 people and serves as the province’s leading source of service sector exports. China is an important market for our Tourism growth strategy, with a focus on attracting high-value, independent travelers. Nova Scotia offers 7,600 km of coastline and beautiful, natural landscapes with uncrowded spaces that are easy to explore.

Ocean Technology

Nova Scotia is a world leader in the oceans sector. Our universities and community colleges have proven strength in marine industries, and our workforce is recognized for its knowledge and ability. The sector itself is diverse including goods and service providers engaged in ocean technology, fisheries and aquaculture, life sciences and ocean observation, shipbuilding and marine defence, transportation, tourism, and both extractive and renewable energy. Local companies in the sector often serve two or more of these industries.

Information Technology (IT)

Nova Scotia is home to a diversified Information Communication and Digital Media sector that includes approximately 800 companies and a strong start-up community with systems to support industry development. The Dalhousie University Institute for Big Data Analytics was Canada’s first Big Data Academic Research Centre.


Nova Scotia’s excellent post-secondary education sector produces a skilled workforce with expertise in high technology sectors and significant capacity for research and development. China is one of Nova Scotia’s top education partners. There are several Memoranda of Understanding between Chinese and Nova Scotian government departments, universities, and educators to facilitate student mobility and academic cooperation. The province’s curriculum is being taught by accredited Nova Scotian teachers in 16 Chinese schools. Nova Scotia’s language schools and e-learning companies have a proven track record and are well positioned for the Chinese market.

Learn more about other sector opportunities in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Ocean Advantage Mandarin version

Nova Scotia Ocean Advantage English version

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