Europe has deep historical, cultural, and trading ties with Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia–Europe strategy is a plan to make those connections stronger.  

Our relationship and trade agreements with Europe presents an opportunity to promote our top-quality products, skilled workforce and shipping infrastructure to increase 2-way trade, service exports and investment.

Engagement strategy

We’re working with businesses and organizations at home and abroad to co-ordinate our approach to the European market. Our engagement activities will focus on 4 areas: 

  • leveraging trade agreements and the opportunities they create to increase exports, investment and procurement
  • promoting our strengths, including our location, skilled workforce, innovation ecosystem and competitive business environment
  • building and maintaining relationships with European governments to create awareness of Nova Scotia’s assets and advance our priorities
  • working with all levels of government and industry organizations to co-ordinate our efforts in the European market

Areas for growth

The Nova Scotia-Europe Engagement Strategy will enhance conditions to improve economic growth by increasing exports, research and development partnerships, immigration, tourism revenue and investment.

Trade and investment

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA ) will help power growth in investment and goods and service exports between Nova Scotia and Europe by creating more open, transparent and predictable markets.


Nova Scotians are producing innovations in the ocean technology, ICT, energy, clean technology, biotechnology, life and health sciences, forestry, agri-food and seafood sectors. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster helps maximize the potential of the oceans sector and connect sectors such as ICT and energy to oceans.


Nova Scotia’s culture and heritage contribute to vibrant communities and enrich the quality of life in every part of the province. Nova Scotia has strong historical and cultural ties with Europe, which continue to grow and prosper. 


Tourism is a $2.7 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.


  • Europe is Nova Scotia’s third-largest trading partner and export destination.
  • Under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), almost 96 percent of fish and seafood products are now duty-free and remaining duties will be phased out over 7 years.
  • Nova Scotia’s considerable ocean technology expertise and infrastructure will create unprecedented opportunities in research, innovation and business with the Canada’s Ocean Supercluster concentrated in Atlantic Canada.
  • In 2018, $7.4 billion of European imports to Canada were cleared through Nova Scotia.
  • In 2018, Nova Scotians exported more seafood, berries, wood and energy products, and machinery totaling $597 million, well above the annual average level of $520 million over the previous 5 years.
  • Europe is the world’s largest seafood importer and Nova Scotia is Canada’s largest seafood exporter.
  • The Nova Scotia forestry sector stands to benefit from CETA by expanding its exports of value-added and energy wood products.
  • The EU has eliminated tariffs on fresh and frozen blueberries, giving Nova Scotia a competitive advantage.