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NEIA continuing its work to drive business opportunities in the Caribbean region

For Immediate Release
December 9, 2016

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) is moving forward with its next phase of business development in the Caribbean thanks, in part, to investments of just over $163,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and close to $41,500 from the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD).

“This investment, through ACOA, supports several of the Government of Canada’s priorities including international business development and clean technology, while also supporting the Atlantic Growth Strategy,” says Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for ACOA. “With a small local market, it’s imperative our companies actively compete in the international marketplace in order to grow and expand.”

“In conjunction with our federal partners at ACOA, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is working closely with NEIA’s international initiatives in the Caribbean. We have a traditional trade history with this region, and have partnered with NEIA on similar activities in the recent past. The Caribbean Market Development Initiative will only strengthen and grow these relations. As part of The Way Forward, our government is committed to economic diversification and business growth, and this initiative is an excellent example of how industry collaboration with both levels of government is helping to enhance trade and further support the development of the environment sector.”
-The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Business, Trade, Culture and Rural Development

“We are continuing our work to grow the province’s international business relationships in the Caribbean because of the successes we have seen in our previous initiatives,” says Abbie Lacey, NEIA’s Manager of Business Development. Lacey notes that previous phases of the project have helped to foster a strong two-way relationship with the Caribbean island nations. “NEIA and its partners have 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 has led three missions to the region.”

NEIA’s Executive Director, Kieran Hanley, said that the Caribbean is a natural partner in economic development. “Newfoundland and Labrador is a small market for many of the environmental products and services that are developed by local business,” explains Hanley. “It is important for the growth of these businesses – and the diversification of our provincial economy – that these firms explore international markets.”

“The products and services developed in this province can work well in other island environments, such as those in the Caribbean.” 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.”

The next phase of NEIA’s Caribbean Market Development Initiative includes the facilitation of five new firm-specific market entry strategies for the region, and trade missions to the market in the Spring and Fall of 2017. “Our firms will work closely with expert consultants to identify and pre-qualify relevant opportunities specific to their business, develop a targeted business development strategy, and organize and facilitate meetings in support of that strategy on the ground in-market,” says Lacey.

NEIA’s international business initiatives in the region are a product of continued collaboration with BTCRD and ACOA. “The provincial government and ACOA have been vital partners in the pursuit of international business growth opportunities for our sector,” says Hanley. “This project has resulted in new business and partnerships for Newfoundland and Labrador firms. Together, 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 200 members. More information can be found at For information on how ACOA invests in international business initiatives, visit

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More Information:

Click here to view more information on the 2017 Caribbean Project and to find out how you can participate.


Kieran Hanley
Executive Director
Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA)

Paul McGrath
Director, Communications

Eric Humber
Media Relations Manager
Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
O: 709-729-4819
C: 709-725-9655


With the support of ACOA and BTCRD, NEIA’s Caribbean Market Development Initiative has actively assisted its members since 2014 in the investigation of, preparation for, and entry in to the Caribbean region:

  • April 2014 – NEIA holds “Spotlight on the Caribbean” – a three-day event including an incoming delegation from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Government of Barbados, and Canadian trade commissioner/OLIFI officer, as well as a networking event and International Financial Institution (IFI) workshop.

  • June 2014 – NEIA receives commissioned report to provide: an assessment of the capabilities and capacity of local firms to export their products or services to the Caribbean; the identification of priority markets within the Caribbean; the identification and qualification of opportunities and leads that align to the capabilities and capacities of local firms; and the development of individualized market intelligence and strategy reports.

  • June 2014 – NEIA facilitates development of a ‘custom-tailored’ version of the Procurement Opportunity and Delivery System (PODS) to target International Financial Institution (IFI) work in the Caribbean region.

  • September 2014 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for eleven firms and organizations.

  • November 2014 – NEIA holds private luncheon with the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago for project participants.

  • February 2015 – NEIA leads its first business development mission to the region.

  • April 2015 – NEIA holds “Doing Business in the Caribbean” information session – hosted by market experts.

  • May 2015 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for four additional firms and organizations.

  • May 2015 – NEIA holds “Banking in the Caribbean” information session – hosted by senior officials from Scotiabank.

  • June 2015 – NEIA leads its second business development mission to the region.

  • October 2015 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for five additional firms and organizations.

  • November 2015 – NEIA leads its third business development mission to the region.

  • September 2016 – NEIA hosts incoming Caribbean delegation including Trade Commissioners from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago as well as representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.

  • December 2016 – NEIA launches next phase of Caribbean Market Development Initiative which will include the facilitation of five additional market entry strategies and two in-market business development missions


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