July 24, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Business development will be Premier Shawn Graham's top priority when he attends the second Southeastern United States - Canadian Provinces Alliance Conference in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, from July 26-28.
"A big part of our five-point plan to provide leadership on the economy is support for businesses," said Graham. "New Brunswick companies are looking for support to break into new markets, and by participating in this forum, the Government of New Brunswick is facilitating that."
Business leaders representing six businesses and organizations will join Graham. They are: Associated Manufacturing Marketing Group; Belledune Port Authority; Enterprise Chaleur; Huntsman Marine Sciences Centre; SwiftRadius; and Number One Machining Ltd.
New Brunswick already has established private sector links to the southeastern U.S. markets, with companies in the food, industrial manufacturing and IT sectors selling in that marketplace.
Companies such as UPS have chosen New Brunswick for branch offices. In addition, the information technology used for Service New Brunswick's, one-stop-shop for government services model has been used by the Georgia Municipal Association.
In 2008, the southeastern U.S. represented about five per cent of New Brunswick's total exports to the U.S., and 16 per cent of its total imports from the U.S.
"New England has traditionally been the major export market for New Brunswick businesses," said Graham. "This forum will allow us to build relations with the southeastern states so that we can open the door in these markets for our businesses."
The Southeastern United States - Canadian Provinces Alliance is a relatively new forum. A similar alliance between Japan and the southeastern U.S., which has existed since 1975, has proven to be a productive mechanism for improving a strong bilateral foundation.
"Since taking office, our government has been working to form new partnerships beyond our borders in pursuit of a self-sufficient New Brunswick by 2026," said Graham.
Seven provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba) and six southeastern states (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) are involved in the alliance.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, communications, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, 506-444-4594.