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NEIA leads return trade mission to Caribbean to continue to build business for Newfoundland & Labrador firms

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2015

ST. JOHN’S, NL – From June 8 -12, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), in partnership with the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is leading a network of seven firms from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Caribbean to pursue business opportunities and build international partnerships.

“This is a follow-up mission building on the success of a previous visit to the region in February,” explains Ted Lomond, NEIA’s Executive Director. “Those positive results can be attributed to our preparation,” says Lomond. “We have worked with our firms for over a year to ensure they were ready and had a high likelihood of success.”

Lomond says this work included arranging incoming delegations, training, developing firm-level market entry strategies specific to the Caribbean markets, prequalifying market contacts, and coordinating an earlier mission of six firms to the region. “Some of our firms have already signed development contracts as a result of the initiative, and others are in negotiations.”

The June mission, which will focus on Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, is intended to help firms build on relationships established through earlier activities. NEIA has facilitated a full schedule of carefully selected meetings for participating firms with private sector organizations, trade experts, and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to help these firms pursue identified business opportunities.

“Newfoundland and Labrador is a small market for many of the environmental products and services that are developed by local business,” explained Lomond. “It is important for the growth of these businesses – and the diversification of our provincial economy – that these firms explore international markets.”

Lomond says that the Caribbean is a natural partner in economic development. “We both reside in island regions and face similar challenges such as the impacts of climate change, coastal zone erosion, distance from markets, and resource dependent economies. We also have a long history of trade and share a willingness to learn from one another.”

NEIA’s Caribbean strategy has been strongly supported by BTCRD. “The provincial government has been an active partner in this strategy from the outset,” says Lomond. “We are very appreciative of the support BTCRD and its staff have been able to provide.”

“ACOA has been a critical partner in this process,” notes Lomond. “ACOA has recognized the potential economic benefits this partnership may yield for the region, and has engaged industry each step of the way.”

“This mission is the result of significant planning, strategy development, and collective effort over the course of more than a year.” says Lomond. “We look forward to further positive results.”

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.

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Media Contact:
Kieran Hanley
kieran@neia.org
709.237.8190

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