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The chambers of commerce of Fredericton, Greater Moncton and the Saint John Region welcome the new report commissioned by the New Brunswick Business Council. Growing the export economy: Key to New Brunswick’s future prosperity, a report by David Campbell of Jupia Consultants Inc. that calls attention to the significant decline of New Brunswick’s economic growth in recent years. Attributing to this decline is an identifiable lack of productivity and competitiveness, a low rate of private sector investment and weak exports leading to a growing trade imbalance. The Campbell report presents three initiatives that can be immediately implemented by the provincial government: to create an investment tax credit for companies that invests in automation and digitization, accelerate a path for employers to recruit specialized workers from outside the country, and match the housing incentives of other Maritime provinces to stimulate housing development.

This report stands as another urgent call for action to protect future growth in our province by identifying strategic investments to regain competitiveness with our fellow provinces. Its intent matches the united message of our chambers. As recently as May 7th of this year, the chambers of Fredericton, Greater Moncton and the Saint John Region jointly addressed the Premier of New Brunswick, regarding the pressing issue of housing development. The letter underscores the severe shortage of available housing units in New Brunswick and emphasizes the urgent need for increased development. Specifically, the chambers urged the provincial government to eliminate the provincial portion of the HST on new building construction for purpose-built multi-unit dwellings, aligning with actions taken by other provinces. This report serves to emphasize our position, as it offers that in the first four months of 2024, Nova Scotia has seen nearly twice as many new housing starts adjusted for population size compared to New Brunswick.

The NBBC report appropriately presents that to have a viable economy and support social progress, New Brunswick needs a prosperous business sector and encourages the provincial government and business leaders to embrace a clear growth agenda. Our chambers of commerce have previously encouraged decisive action and alignment of government policy to address pressing issues hindering economic growth within the province. We have presented the immediate actions required by our provincial leaders, especially concerning housing and development, to regain a competitive balance with our neighbouring provinces by creating an eco-system conducive to urgently needed development. Today we add to this call the forward-thinking investments needed to boost productivity, competitiveness and to foster increased export revenue to bring down our trade deficit.

The chambers of commerce of Fredericton, Greater Moncton and the Saint John Region stand ready to collaborate with all stakeholders in efforts of ensuring a future of sustained growth in New Brunswick.

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