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. 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 $995 million in goods to China in 2019
  • Seafood exports to China were $726 million in 2019
  • 5% of Nova Scotia’s international students are from China
  • 3300 Chinese students study in Nova Scotia annually
  • Nova Scotia’s Mermaid Theatre has performed more than 170 performances in China
  • The Port of Halifax has the 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, cold storage facility and a 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 leading seafood exporter with $2.3 billion sold to global markets in 2019. A total of $726 million, most of which is lobster, 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.

Energy and Mines

We manage and promote our province’s energy and mineral resources to achieve optimum economic, social, and environmental value from these sectors. It is estimated there are more than 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and eight billion barrels of oil offshore of Nova Scotia. In 2018, there were 12 actively producing mines in the province, generating $327 million in market value – much of which was for export.” We are home to companies with proven capabilities in environmental research, ocean technology, fabrication, engineering, training, education and innovative technology in the ocean sector. Plus, Nova Scotia has world class facilities that services many marine and ocean industry clients from all over the globe.


Tourism is a $2.6 billion industry in Nova Scotia. It contributes $158 million in provincial government revenue and $2.2 billion in tourism-related GDP. Nova Scotia’s tourism industry employs 39,000 people. China is an important market for our tourism growth strategy, with a focus on attracting high-value, independent travelers. Nova Scotia offers 13,300 km of coastline and beautiful, natural landscapes, seafood, dark skies, and 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 in a number of Chinese schools giving students a unique opportunity to earn a Nova Scotia high school diploma. 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 - Tourism, Aquaculture, Agriculture

Nova Scotia - Education

News Releases

Minister to Advance Nova Scotia’s Business Relationships in China
October 26, 2018 - 12:30 pm Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell is travelling to China Saturday, Oct. 27, to help promote business relationships in fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food and beverages.

Province/Clearwater Receive Recognition for Building Relations in China
October 4, 2018 - 2:41 pm Intergovernmental Affairs

The province and a leading Nova Scotia seafood exporter have been recognized for achieving commercial success in China.

Second Session of the 63rd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature Speech from the Throne
September 6, 2018 - 2:35 pm Speech from the Throne

The following is the speech from the throne read today, Sept. 6, 2018, by Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc at the opening of the second session of the 63rd General Assembly of Nova Scotia.