May 13, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Premier Shawn Graham will lead a two-day mission to New York City on May 14 and 15 to promote New Brunswick as the place to be for investment opportunities, and to support bids by Moncton and Fredericton to be named the world's most intelligent community by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) at New York University.
"We are travelling to New York City to spread the word about the competitive advantages of doing business in New Brunswick, and to show the world how proud we are of Moncton and Fredericton for being named to this prestigious list," said Graham. "We are telling New York and the world that New Brunswick is Canada's smart province, with two of seven top intelligent communities in the world."
Eight New Brunswick companies are accompanying Graham to build new export opportunities for IT firms. The companies will make business calls organized by Business New Brunswick, and attend some ICF functions.
The ICF is a think-tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st-century community. Whether in industrialized or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and knowledge increasingly depend on advances in communications. This is the second consecutive year that the City of Fredericton has been named to the ICF's top seven list, and Moncton's first time.
Graham will begin his visit with private business meetings on Thursday, then attend a reception hosted by Canadian Consul General Dan Sullivan at his private residence. Following the reception, the New Brunswick delegation will attend a Top Seven ICF reception hosted by the Government of New Brunswick and the Canadian consul general. The event will celebrate recognition of communities named to the Top Seven Intelligent Communities list.
On Friday, Graham will address an IT trade mission breakfast prior to introducing a panel discussion highlighting New Brunswick's IT strengths and partnership opportunities with New York companies.
"This visit will give us a chance to share our vision for economic development, self-sufficiency and population growth with the New York business community," said Graham. "Opportunities for investment and partnership between New Brunswick and New England businesses continue to grow in our province, and we feel that there is no better time for them to take advantage of New Brunswick's innovative technological solutions."
Also on Friday, Graham will speak to the ICF in a keynote discussion about his vision for rural competitiveness in New Brunswick. Graham will explain how government's plan to become the first jurisdiction in North America to deliver affordable high-speed Internet access to 100 per cent of residents will help bridge the digital divide between urban and rural communities, enhancing economic development, education and health care.
Following the Premier's presentation, the New Brunswick delegation will join Moncton Mayor George Leblanc and Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside and their delegations to attend the ICF award luncheon.
"The cities of Moncton and Fredericton have demonstrated what communities can accomplish when they embrace innovation and technology to grow their economies for the betterment of their populations," said Graham. "New Brunswick, Moncton and Fredericton are all proof that we can be leaders, we can be innovators and we can be competitive on the world stage."
As part of the trade mission and ICF event, the New Brunswick delegation will embrace new technology and social media to spread the word about New Brunswick's activities, and provide updates on events happening in New York.
The Government of New Brunswick has created a YouTube channel at www.youtube.ca/gnbca, where the public may view video updates of the trip. In addition, Business New Brunswick communications officer Ryan Donaghy will provide blog updates on events and developments.
"In the spirit of the ICF, our government is embracing social media to inform New Brunswickers and people around the world about our progress in New York," said Graham. "I encourage everyone to use these tools for updates on our progress, and to find out which community will be named this year's most intelligent community."
More information about the ICF is available online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ryan Donaghy, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-471-5554.