Import Replacement:

A background primer on what it is.

Import Replacement:

Local Prosperity for Rural Atlantic Canada

Press Release:  CLP Release Import Replacement FIN April11’16

Local Economic Resilience through Import Replacement

“Economic life develops by grace of innovating; it expands by grace of import-replacement.”

—Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life

The Centre for Local Prosperity is conducting an Atlantic Canada regional project on the economics benefits of import replacement as an economic development strategy for communities within the region.

Import replacement is an economic tool designed to complement exporting, to provide a more balanced and integrated approach to local economic development and sustainability. A community (or region) focused on import replacement would seek to produce goods and services that are currently imported in order to keep money circulating in the region. By developing local production, it would increase its capacity to meet the economic, social, and cultural needs of the people of the region from within the region, not in a spirit of isolationism but in a spirit of self-determination.

Import replacement is not a substitution for exports, but a way of decreasing a region or community’s vulnerability to external pressures—a story the Atlantic Provinces know too well. Homegrown industries diversify and expand the local economy and they naturally begin to look toward regional, national, and global markets as they expand and grow. While the export model has dominated politics, public policy, and economic development discourse, this alternative complementary model has slowly been gaining recognition as ‘the other side of the coin’ – this complementary model is import replacement.

The study is conducting in-depth analysis of four communities in the Atlantic Region – Shelburne, NS; Miramichi, NB; Souris, PEI and Burin Peninsula, NFLD.  Initial outcomes were presented at the Nov 3-6, 2016 Local Prosperity Miramichi conference, and the final report on the study is expected in the Fall 2017.

A good link for background information on the concept of import replacement.