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October 8, 2015
For immediate release
Island export success performs above national growth
“Our government has set a plan in place to achieve growth above the national averages and create more opportunities for trade, businesses and job creation,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “Robust business growth across our key sectors will build a more prosperous province and assist Prince Edward Island in becoming an innovative leader.”
In 2014 the province surpassed $1-billion in international merchandise exports for the first time. The latest Statistics Canada report shows export growth of 18 per cent through August compared to last year, well above the Canadian average.
“Not only are Island businesses producing goods and services that are exported all over the world, they are aggressively pursuing new markets and improving their products to make them more attractive to buyers,” said Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald. “Our Island businesses are the reason we continue to see record numbers in 2015. These kinds of numbers also help attract new companies to our province by demonstrating the potential of our skilled workforce, our collaboration, and the province’s capability as an exporter.”
The food sector continues to contribute significantly to export growth. Frozen food manufacturing and seafood product preparation and packaging were the province’s two biggest exporters through August, accounting for nearly 35 per cent of all international exports.
Mussel King is a leading producer and international exporter of mussels based near Morell. The company has maintained annual percentage growth in the double digits with 2014 numbers coming in just shy of 30 per cent. The company is confident that this trend will continue as it focuses on expanding its lines of value-added RTE frozen mussels and introducing new and innovative packaging for live mussel products.
“Mussel King's key to success in the export market is its understanding of what the consumer wants, and its efforts to meet that need,” says President Esther Dockendorff. “This includes new packaging formats and portion controlled servings, combined with convenience and ease of preparation. Mussel King continues to pursue new markets outside of North America while at the same time building existing business that it developed within North America over the past 35 years.”
Prince Edward Island led all provinces in manufacturing shipments growth with an increase of 5.8 per cent over the same period last year. Employment in manufacturing was up by 700 jobs January through August, an increase of 13.2 per cent over the same period last year. Aerospace, engine, turbine and power equipment manufacturing led the way provincially in terms of value of non-food exports.
Aspin Kemp Associates is a leading Island-based manufacturing exporter. In 2013 the company produced $31 million in exports. That number grew by over 40 per cent in 2014 and is on track for another increase in 2015.
“Aspin Kemp and Associates has seen significant growth in the past few years,” says CEO Jason Aspin. “In the past two years we’ve supplied equipment for 250 MW power plants and new hybrid technology for five new drill ships being built in South Korea. With the knowledge and expertise developed through these projects AKA is exploring opportunities to repurpose and apply this technology in new markets.”
An emerging sector of the economy with great potential is professional services. And while there are a modest number of companies from this sector contributing to export growth, there are opportunities for expansion on Prince Edward Island.
SpryPoint delivers our cloud-based software and services to the utility industry, primarily in the United States. Last year the company saw US sales grow at over 60 per cent year over year.
“SpryPoint was founded on the premise that we could deliver world-class software and services direct from Prince Edward Island,” said company President Keir Pollard. “While SpryPoint is a relatively young firm we are excited to be part of a growing PEI ecosystem of knowledge-based companies that are delivering innovation around the globe. We continue to see strong growth as we march through 2015.”