Exports in perspective

I have thought for a long time that New Brunswick should publish its exports formally – with and without energy.  Every other year we get a forecast about booming exports and politicians are quick to take credit for this as a result of their successful economic development efforts.  I will never forget former BNB Minister Kirk Macdonald bragging about the “billion dollar increase – that’s billion with a ‘b'” in exports as the result of his leadership while just about every major category of exports – except energy – as actually in decline and was a serious concern.

EDC says energy makes up 68% of our exports – I think it’s even a bit higher – but it is clear that you could see whole industries collapsing (from an export perspective) and the EDC would still be issuing press releases talking about our robust export growth (driven by refined oil).

Let’s make sure we understand the real trending here.

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2 Responses to Exports in perspective

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great point David. New Brunswick’s export performance, adjusted for oil, is weak. Exports are directly proportional to prosperity, otherwise we are merely passing around the same money amongst ourselves.

    We absolutely have to support the attraction and expansion of businesses that export from New Brunswick.

    This is where I disagree with you on the NB Power issue. I do not think the key to improving New Brunswick’s lackluster export performance lies in subsidizing our pulp and paper industries. It would appear neither does EDC if you check their comments in the article.

    We need to be developing industries that can be globally competitive and have a strong future. We’ve talked here about energy technologies, data centers, biotech, environmental technologies, health technologies etc. Not 100% sure which one of these is the right one for New Brunswick but we’d be far better off putting effort into evaluating them, developing a strategy and executing it. If the government has come around to show willingness to sell assets off to to invest billions in a specific sector, just imagine if they were to channel this level of commitment into a sector with a strong future and great export potential.

  2. joe says:

    None. What you see is all your getting. Even a company within an active industry is going down. Maritime Drilling!

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