NEIA and private businesses building opportunities for trade between Newfoundland and Labrador, Caribbean

For Immediate Release
February 26, 2015

Bridgetown, BB – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) is leading a trade delegation – featuring a number of local firms – to Barbados, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“This targeted mission is the third phase in a focused strategy aimed at securing international business opportunities for firms in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Ted Lomond, NEIA’s Executive Director.

“Operating in Newfoundland, the technologies and services developed by our firms lend themselves to use in an island setting, so these are strategic investment locations,” says Lomond. “Our firms are looking for international growth, whether that be through sales, distribution, supply chain diversification, or the development of new partnerships.”

Lomond notes this NEIA initiative is unique in that it has been driven from the outset by the common interests of private sector firms. “Over a year ago, our Export and International Business Network members identified the Caribbean as a location of business interest,” explained Lomond. NEIA’s Export and International Business Network is a group of firms in the environmental sector conducting business, or looking to explore opportunities, abroad.

The second phase of the project took place over the course of 2014. “Last April NEIA hosted officials from Barbados to establish personal relationships with key partners and to help them gain an understanding of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Lomond says that since that time, NEIA has worked with participating firms to develop individual market entry strategies, and with consultants and the Canadian High Commission to assemble a program for the mission. “This trade mission is the culmination of a lot of work investigating and confirming growth opportunities within these developing markets,” says Lomond.

While in the Caribbean, NEIA has facilitated – for participating Newfoundland and Labrador firms – a series of meetings with trade officials and potential partners in the region. “Our companies have been busy building contacts which they hope will develop into business relationships,” says Lomond. “The results thus far have exceeded expectations.”

On a broader scale, NEIA staff are investigating further environmental sector opportunities in the region for firms in Newfoundland and Labrador. “In addition to supporting the objectives of the individual firms, NEIA has a program of meetings in place exploring the potential for closer collaboration between our two regions,” says Lomond. NEIA is meeting with Barbados’ Department of Environment, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Canadian High Commission, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce, and others.

Lomond says the Caribbean mission is just one of NEIA’s ongoing international initiatives. “The growth of international business activity of local firms is critical to the diversification and strengthening of our province’s economy.” Lomond says NEIA’s role is to help firms work together to explore common markets of interest, where working alone would be cost prohibitive.

“Our network has independently identified a number of regions of interest to the environmental sector,” notes Lomond. “NEIA will work with these firms to help research, outline, and pursue international business opportunities.”

For more information on NEIA’s Export and International Business Network, visit http://neia.org/network/. 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. Learn more about NEIA at www.neia.org.

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Media Contact:
Kieran Hanley
709.237.8190
kieran@neia.org

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