Well, for starters, as I indicated earlier, the analysis we have access to shows that a little less than a third of our natural resources produced in this country end up being processed by the manufacturing sector in this country. So the resource boom, if you want to call it that, I think has benefited the manufacturing sector.
In fact if you look at the industrial sectors that have experienced the fastest growth levels since the recession, you'll see that sectors connected to the natural resource supply chain have tended to do better. Those are things like machinery and equipment, fabricated metal products, and so on and so forth.
We often talk about the oil and gas sector, but to us it's the forestry sector that is growing very strongly in northern British Columbia. It's the oil and gas sector in Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan. It's uranium in Saskatchewan. It's Richard's members, and all the agrifood producers who are taking advantages of higher prices and growing demand in international markets. It's the mining sector in northern Quebec, with the Plan Nord.
In northern Ontario we're seeing the same types of investments taking place, and in parts of Atlantic Canada as well. We've got that going for us, and I think the issue for manufacturers is how we can connect with those supply chains, how we can benefit from those investments.
For example, if you talk to the mining equipment sector, we're one of the best countries. We have some really good companies that were able to start 20 to 30 years ago supplying the oil sands and projects in northern Ontario. They now do business all over the world. In fact the best place for me to get information in terms of market access issues tends to be those companies because they operate in markets all over the world.
To see this as an either-or proposition, that what's good for the resource sector is not necessarily good for the manufacturing sector.... We see the two sectors as being very strongly connected.
Now, in the context of these trade negotiations with Japan, I think it's been great that our natural resource sector has been able to take advantage of opportunities in that market. The opportunity and the potential we have now is to diversify our trade with Japan and let other sectors of the economy take advantage of that market.