FREDERICTON (GNB) – Ten New Brunswick seafood companies are visiting Taiwan and China this week as part of an effort to develop new business opportunities overseas.

Fisheries, seafood and ocean technology companies are taking part in trade events. The companies will showcase their products and services and meet prospective clients in an effort to boost their export sales in growing markets in Asia.

“New Brunswick seafood producers have earned a reputation for putting high-quality food on dinner tables around the world,” said Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “We are pleased to play a role in connecting overseas buyers, who recognize the value of safe, healthy food, with New Brunswick companies that are delivering on that commitment.”

The New Brunswick companies are among 43 from the Atlantic region attending the export shows. The federal government and the Atlantic provincial governments are assisting the companies to showcase their products and services.

Events on the itinerary include the Export Café business-to-business networking event in Taipei, Taiwan and the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao, China.

The China Fisheries and Seafood Expo is Asia’s largest seafood expo and the second-largest in the world. It attracts about 28,000 visitors from 100 countries.

In 2016, New Brunswick was Canada’s second-largest exporting province for fish and seafood at more than $1.6 billion. That is an 11 per cent increase year-over-year and a 30 per cent increase since 2014.

New Brunswick’s fish and seafood sectors are important economic drivers and employ as many as 4,500 people, through direct and indirect employment.

“Canada knows it needs to remain open to the world in order to stay competitive,” said federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Companies know that they must be innovative in their approach to continue to grow. Now is the time to think big, to think beyond our borders. Canadian value is well known in Asia, and the time is now to seize opportunities in this promising market.”

Over the next five years, the federal and provincial governments will jointly invest $20 million to provide Atlantic firms with competitive intelligence and market analysis, training and skills development, and in-market engagement activities.