I have been reading about an organization called ProChile which is mandated to help small and medium-size enterprises in their trade expansion efforts by leveraging the opportunities afforded by recent trade agreements, fostering public-private partnerships, and helping position Chile in the international marketplace. The organization has around 240 employees of which 140 are based in Chile’s foreign offices.
I know we have chatted about this before but it is well worth mentioning again that New Brunswick (to my knowledge) has no economic development officers based in foreign markets and I don’t even think ACOA does (outside of some short term placements in Boston and maybe other embassies).
Canada has dozens – probably a few hundred commercial officers abroad but I have heard from multiple sources that they don’t do much to foster trade & investment with New Brunswick. When you think about it New Brunswick represents less than 3% of the Canadian population so it’s not really on the feds radar for trade and investment.
So why not take 30-40 of the 150+ economic developers based in Fredericton and put them in the markets where the actual ‘trade’ and ‘investment’ is?
I don’t know why, quite frankly. I guess there is some worry about cost, about remote management, etc. but in the end the biz is there it ain’t he.