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EUCCAN: One Week, One Province: Nova Scotia

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Nova Scotia Business Inc. recently had the opportunity to participate in the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada (EUCCAN) ‘One Week, One Province’ virtual event, featuring Nova Scotia.

Premier Stephen McNeil was the keynote speaker, and NSBI’s President and CEO, Laurel Broten, facilitated the panel discussion with guests Arthur Morris, Group CEO of Jonas Software, and George Palikaras, founding President and CEO, Metamaterial Technologies.

What is EUCCAN?

EUCCAN aims to serve as a key resource and main point of contact for European businesses in Canada and for European Union (EU) businesses seeking to enter the Canadian market.


Why should companies in the EU consider Nova Scotia?

As referenced by Premier McNeil, Nova Scotia has developed the Nova Scotia-Europe Engagement Strategy, that focuses on four core areas:

  • leveraging trade agreements and the opportunities they create to increase exports, investment and procurement
  • promoting our strengths, including our location, skilled workforce, innovation ecosystem and competitive business environment
  • building and maintaining relationships with European governments to create awareness of Nova Scotia’s assets and advance our priorities
  • And, aligning common interests by working with all levels of government and industry organization to co-ordinate our efforts in the European market

“Nova Scotia is a province that wants to trade globally. Europe is an important foundation for foreign investment into Nova Scotia.”​

— Premier Stephen McNeil

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) provides opportunities for ‘both sides of the Atlantic.’ CETA presents Canadian businesses with preferential access to and excellent opportunities for growth in the EU and makes Canada attractive to investors from the EU by including investor protection, reduced tariffs and increased market access.

“When the CETA agreement came to place, we were really excited and happy because that opened further our key, basically, trading routes with countries like France and Italy and Spain where we had customers,” explains George Palikaras, founding President and CEO, Metamaterial Technologies.

Direct flights (and access) to an innovative ecosystem

How did Metamaterial Technologies, a nanotechnology company with offices in Silicon Valley, California, and London, England, make the decision to locate its head office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia?

The direct flights from England and time zones were major contributing factors. Nova Scotia’s location provided the opportunity not only for team expansion but for what has now become Metamaterial’s national centre for work.

An innovative ecosystem also played a key role. Nova Scotia enables R&D relationships with local universities and offers access to key industry players like Tesla and Lockheed Martin.

“Nova Scotia has now become the national centre, four hours from California, four hours from Europe, and that helps me basically run my business across multiple jurisdictions and have access to incredible resources through NSBI,” says George Palikaras.

From ‘on ice’ to accelerating through a pandemic

Jonas Software, a global software development company, was set to open their first office in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Apri1 1st, 2020. On March 17, 2020, the plans were put ‘on ice’ due to COVID. However, Arthur Morris, Group CEO of Jonas Software, says that quickly changed, due to the province’s low case rate and the state of the economy. At the time of writing, the Toronto office of Jonas Software is still closed.

“Halfway through the period between then and now, we accelerated. We've actually increased our hiring plans through the last couple of months. And in the last two months since we've started hiring, we're up to kind of 80 percent of what we expected to have by the year-end, so we're very pleased with that,” says Morris.

An invitation

“I would invite you, if today has sparked your interest to learn more about how Nova Scotia can be your next business solution, I invite you to visit investnovascotia.com, where you will find further details on what our province can offer, and it will help you connect with one of our team members. As Arthur and George have said, our team brings both experience and expertise, and I hope our team will soon become one of your most valuable resources in learning all things about our province," says Laurel Broten, President & CEO, NSBI.

Watch the full video of the Trade & Investment Opportunities in Nova Scotia webinar

Did you know?

  • Europe is Nova Scotia’s third-largest trading partner and export destination.
  • Under CETA, almost 96 percent of fish and seafood products are now duty-free and remaining duties will be phased out over 7 years.
  • Nova Scotia’s considerable ocean technology expertise and infrastructure will create unprecedented opportunities in research, innovation and business with the Canada’s Ocean Supercluster concentrated in Atlantic Canada.
  • In 2018, $7.4 billion of European imports to Canada were cleared through Nova Scotia.
  • In 2019, Nova Scotians exported to the EU more seafood, berries, wood and energy products, and machinery totalling $557.5 million, well above the annual average level of $483.4 million over the previous 5 years.
  • Europe is the world’s largest seafood importer and Nova Scotia is Canada’s largest seafood exporter.
  • The Nova Scotia forestry sector stands to benefit from CETA by expanding its exports of value-added and energy wood products.
  • The EU has eliminated tariffs on fresh and frozen blueberries, giving Nova Scotia a competitive advantage.

Interested in Nova Scotia? Contact us today. At NSBI, we guide companies through the expansion process. From in-depth research, to connecting your company with business leaders and (virtual) site-visits, we offer a variety of resources to ensure Nova Scotia is the right choice.