As with most things, New Brunswick lags the rest of Canada both in terms of exports to and investment from China. We import a pile from China, however. Just take a look at where much of your electronics, toys, plastic items, clothes, etc. come from. Essentially, we send a large chunk of our disposable income over to China to fuel economic development in that part of the world. The trade off for us, I guess, is cheaper goods meaning we have a little more money to spend on even more goods produced in China.
I’m a big believer in trade. Like most economists and economic development types, I believe that trade leads to specialization which should benefit over time all parties involved. However, places like New Brunswick never really got on the specialization train beyond a few commodities such as wood and fish.
China has always been complicated because of its communism and its human rights issues (among others).
There is some potential for Chinese investment in New Brunswick. As my mother used to say “there is many a slip between the cup and the lip” but it is possible that one or more Chinese companies could be investing here in the near future.
As a result there are few people grumbling that we should be wary of Chinese investment.
I don’t buy it. Either we do or we don’t do business with China. If we get stuck in some limbo where it is okay to ship our money to China but not okay to see some of that money coming back through investment here, they we end up in a lose/lose situation.
If it is acceptable for China to take our money and ship us goods it follows that it should be acceptable that China give some of that money back through investment here.
If anyone is worried about Chinese management or labour practices those are covered under regulation. Chinese owned companies are subject to the exact same laws as New Brunswick companies.
New Brunswick is filled with people that like to say no. No to mining. No to Chinese investment. No, no, no. We need more yes, yes, yes.