ST. JOHN’S, NL – Members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) had the opportunity this past week to meet one-on-one with in-market officials to explore business opportunities in the Caribbean.
On September 14 & 15, NEIA welcomed a delegation which included Trade Commissioners from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, as well as officials from the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. “Our guests provided guidance and information on pursuing business in the region, with a focus on international financial institution (IFI) opportunities,” said Abbie Lacey, NEIA’s Manager of Business Development.
The delegation presented to an audience about IFI funding mechanisms and processes in the region, as well as providing information on the region’s business needs, aims, and interests. “IFIs are powerful partners in business development,” said Lacey. “Through these organizations, there are significant opportunities for firms in Newfoundland and Labrador to reach international markets.”
“Our members had the unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with the delegates,” said Lacey. “This provided them with direct access to regional authorities to explore specific product and service markets, identify partnerships, share contacts, and decide on next steps for their business.”
The incoming delegation’s visit to St. John’s was one piece of an ongoing programme of activities for NEIA relating to the Caribbean. “We are continuing work to grow our international business relationships in this region because of the successes we have seen in our previous engagements,” said Lacey. Lacey explained that NEIA has been involved in the region for nearly three years. “Since 2014, NEIA has arranged incoming delegations, helped develop over 20 market-entry strategies for firms, and led three missions to the region.”
NEIA’s Interim Executive Director, Kieran Hanley, said 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.” Hanley 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.”
NEIA’s international business initiatives in the region are a product of continued collaboration with the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture, and Rural Development, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “The provincial government and ACOA have been vital partners in the pursuit of international business growth opportunities for our sector,” said Hanley.
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 200 members. More information can be found at http://www.neia.org.