New Brunswick is a tiny and relatively poor province of Canada found in the extreme west of the country. It borders the American state of Maine and the much larger province of Quebec. Its most important areas of specialization are energy, forestry and fishing. It is about 50 percent rural. It has mining wealth in abundance. New Brunswick provides about 1.5 percent of Canada's GDP.
The Economy and Demographics
Since the early 1960s, New Brunswick has expanded rapidly. Before that time, it was almost totally rural and poor. The state is a major player in the economy, especially in financing the growing energy industry, which accounts for an extremely large proportion of both its exports and imports. The province has about 750,000 people, about the same as Wyoming, and of these, about 200,000 speak French.
New Brunswick is dominant in both energy and logging in Canada. Manufacturing paper is a major economic sector. Fish and many metals are an important part of the economy. This province mines strategic minerals and metals such as zinc, copper, silver, gold, salt, uranium and peat. Her potatoes are regularly in demand globally, as is her maple syrup. In 2010, New Brunswick exported $10 billion abroad, mostly to the U.S., Japan, Brazil and Britain, while she imported $12 billion, largely in the energy sector.
According to the provincial Finance Ministry, energy products, especially refined petroleum, was the primary export of the province. Energy products are by far the largest export sector, making up about $8.5 billion in exports in 2010. A distant second is basic agricultural commodities like potatoes, tobacco, beef and dairy, earning about $1.3 billion in 2010.
The government of the province has targeted energy development as the main road to prosperity. The result has been huge increases in both energy related imports. In general, imports have come from the Middle East and Scandinavia, and are clustered around petroleum and hydro-power components, machinery and expertise. Imports of these sorts of products amounted to $6.3 billion in 2010. The next most important area of imports have been industrial goods and components for the pulp mills and mines, and this has amounted to $931 million in 2010.