FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant met with Michael Evans, the president of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest online e-commerce businesses, while in Toronto on Monday.

Alibaba was hosting Gateway ’17, a conference to help Canadian businesses learn how to tap into the Chinese market through e-commerce. Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave keynote presentations at the conference.

“Alibaba is an important online tool that businesses can use to sell their products to millions of people from China,” said Gallant. “The meeting was a great opportunity to seek advice on how to get more New Brunswick products on Alibaba’s platform and into the fast-growing Chinese market.”

China is New Brunswick’s third-largest trading partner, with domestic exports to that country valued at $89.2 million in 2016.

“New Brunswick companies having greater access to China could lead to increased exports, increased business and more jobs for New Brunswickers,” said Gallant.

Alibaba provides the technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses use the internet to engage with users and customers. As part of Gateway ’17, select Canadian companies were matched with targeted Alibaba partners and with various Alibaba lines of business.

Twenty-two New Brunswick organizations took part in Gateway ’17.

In October 2016, Gallant and more than 15 businesses and two universities participated in a nine-day, multi-sector trade mission to China. This delegation, New Brunswick’s largest ever, explored opportunities for trade and investment.

The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is the provincial framework for growing the economy and creating job opportunities for New Brunswickers. It outlines how the government will mobilize to ensure there is a co-ordinated, complementary effort to improve the province’s economy and realize maximum economic benefits. Growing international trade links is one way the government is fostering economic opportunity and job creation.