Canadian premiers are chalking up air miles to Beijing and Shanghai as the trading environment brightens after Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to the Middle Kingdom earlier this fall. New Brunswick’s Brian Gallant is the latest premier to lead a business delegation in mid-October. Importantly, he led meetings with executives from China’s leading supermarket chain, China Resources Vanguard which has 4,400 stores nation-wide. They also met with representatives of two major e-commerce portals: Alibaba and JD.com.
According to the premier’s October 21 news release, JD.com works with 100,000 suppliers and has 188 million return customers. JD Fresh and JD Worldwide divisions expressed interest in selling New Brunswick products to Chinese consumers. Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, has a website connecting Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers, and has 80 per cent of the e-commerce market in China. During Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to China, he and Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced the launch of a new online storefront that would allow Canadian merchants to sell more goods to the Chinese marketplace.
David Hoffman, co-CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods, is excited about future prospects for frozen wild blueberries, with three expressions of interest from prospective clients. Oxford Frozen Foods is the world’s largest grower and supplier of wild blueberries. It also owns the Acadian Wild Blueberry Company which recently opened a state-of-the-art processing facility in northern New Brunswick.
New Brunswick’s Economic Growth Plan has identified wild blueberries as a key opportunity.