EDMONTON—2017 looks to be a year of growth for Alberta exports, and that is good news for the rest of Canada as well.
This is according to Export Development Canada’s semi-annual Global Export Forecast.
After a double-digit decline in 2016, Alberta energy is ramping up and is expected to push national export growth to 6 per cent this year.
“Despite multiple attempts at diversification, Alberta’s export scene is still dominated by energy. The energy rebound in Alberta is substantial enough to lift national export growth this year. Alberta is coming back from the brink, ” said Peter Hall, EDC’s chief economist.
The rebound in the energy sector, combined with modest growth in agri-food exports, is expected to boost Alberta’s global growth in 2017 by 19 per cent—the best of any Canadian province.
Last year, Alberta’s total exports declined by almost 15 per cent due to falling energy prices and the effects of the Fort McMurray fire. Energy exports specifically fell by 17 per cent.
But things are taking a dramatic turn for the better in 2017.
The agri-food sector is expected to see growth of 2 per cent as well.
However, EDC says changing economic and demographic trends around the world suggest that more significant growth is in store for Alberta’s second-largest export sector.
“While the United States continues to be the top destination for the province’s exports, Alberta producers can seize growing potential in large emerging markets, in particular China and India. Population growth and rising incomes in these countries mean that every year there are millions of new, middle class consumers looking for high-quality Alberta agri-food products,” said Hall.