For Immediate Release
November 16, 2015
ST. JOHN’S, NL – From November 16 -25, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), is leading a network of firms from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Caribbean on a return mission to drive business opportunities and build international partnerships.
The mission is being lead with strong support from the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA),
“This is the third visit by environmental sector firms from this province to the Caribbean region this year,” explains Ted Lomond, NEIA’s Executive Director. “We are continuing work to grow our international business relationships in this region because of the successes we have seen in our previous engagements.” Lomond explains that through the project, 20 Newfoundland and Labrador firms have already developed market-entry strategies for the Caribbean and interest continues to grow. “Taking the time and effort to complete a strategy is a clear commitment to the market. Many of these firms have also made multiple visits to the market to secure business.”
The 10 day mission will include a series of carefully selected business meetings in Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago. “This is a region that is feeling the impacts of climate change, and that is very concerned about environmental protection,” says Lomond. “The energy sector in the region is developing quickly, and decision-makers want to ensure it is developing in an environmentally responsible fashion.”
Facilitating the international growth of local firms is important, says Lomond. “Newfoundland and Labrador is a small market for many of the environmental products and services that are developed by local business,” he explains. “It is important for the growth of these firms – and the diversification of our provincial economy – that they explore international markets.”
Lomond says that the Caribbean is a natural partner in economic development. “The products and services developed in Newfoundland and Labrador can work well in other island environments.” Lomond notes the region faces similar challenges such as the impacts of climate change, coastal zone erosion, distance from markets, and economies that are resource dependent. “Our province has a long history of trade with the Caribbean, and we are working to continue and deepen that tradition.”
The third mission to the Caribbean follows almost two years of work by NEIA in the region. “Our continued success in the region stems from significant planning, strategy development, and collective effort.” says Lomond. Since 2014, NEIA has arranged incoming delegations, training for participating firms, firm-level market entry strategies, and the prequalification of market contacts. “This project has resulted in new business and partnerships for Newfoundland and Labrador firms. We aim to continue that momentum.”
NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the growth and development of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 190 members. More information can be found at http://www.neia.org.