ACOA supports trade mission to ocean technology conference in Mississippi

A delegation of 14 Atlantic Canadian companies from the ocean technology industry will travel to Biloxi, Mississippi to participate in the Oceans 2009 MTS/IEEE conference and trade show, from October 26-29, 2009. Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), announced an investment of $136,125 in support of this mission.

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping Atlantic Canada’s companies enhance their trade activity and expand their export markets,” said Ashfield. “Through investment and innovation, Atlantic Canada’s ocean technology industry possesses world-class capabilities to compete on the global stage. Our government’s contribution to this mission helps Atlantic Canadian firms to continue to raise their international profile and increase their export sales.”

Organized by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and Institute of Institute of Electrical and Electronical Engineers (IEEE), Oceans 2009 is one of the world’s leading events for the marine science, technology and engineering sectors. The annual conference and trade show attracts upwards of 2,000 international delegates, making it a strategically important networking, learning and marketing venue. The event will provide the Atlantic Canadian delegates with opportunities to seek new buyers and partners, explore opportunities for technology transfer and discover new technologies and research. The delegation will have an exhibit at the event to showcase their expertise. During their stay in Biloxi, the delegation will visit NASA’s Stennis Space Centre, one of the region’s largest hubs of ocean technology research and development.

The mission, organized jointly by the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Nova Scotia Business Inc., is part of a larger endeavour to build trade relations between Atlantic Canada and the Gulf Coast region of the United States through the Alliance of the Southern Eastern United States (SEUS)-Canada Provinces. The alliance was created in 2007 to promote continued trade and investment between six member central and eastern provinces from Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba) and six member states of the South Eastern United States (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee).

Two-way trade between the SEUS states and Canada represents a significant opportunity for Atlantic Canada to expand export markets in the region, especially in the State of Mississippi where Oceans 2009 is taking place. Mississippi is Canada’s strongest SEUS partner with $788 million in Canadian exports to the state in 2006.

Since Hurricane Katrina, US federal and state governments have placed strong emphasis on the development of the ocean technology sector in this region.

Financial assistance for this trade initiative is provided by ACOA through its Business Development Program. The program supports projects that promote entrepreneurship development, training and marketing and export development.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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