Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
May 22, 2009

Atlantic Canadian Ports to Promote Atlantic Gateway at European Conference

Representatives of Atlantic Canada’s ports will be in Europe, from May 23-30, 2009, to promote Atlantic Canada as the premiere entry point for foreign shipments to North America. The delegation will highlight the natural and competitive shipping advantages of the Atlantic Gateway during the 4th annual Breakbulk Europe Conference & Exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium.

"The Government of Canada is committed to promoting Atlantic Canada and Atlantic Canadian transportation assets to our international partners," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "In supporting this particular mission, we will strengthen Atlantic Canada’s global trade links and help make our harbours primary ports of call for foreign shipping interests moving product to and from North America."

The mission is made possible with funding support from the federal and provincial governments through the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA).

"Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic province with a northern region strategically positioning it as a Northern Gateway within the Atlantic Gateway concept," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "As a government, we are confident that our ports will continue to play an important role in safely and efficiently handling the anticipated growth associated with the Atlantic Gateway. In this respect, the Provincial Government continues to advance all opportunities to ensure that the province prospers under the Atlantic Gateway concept."

Canada’s Atlantic Gateway is an integral multi-modal network of ports, railways, airports, and roads across the Atlantic region. In 2007, the Federal Budget allotted $2.1 billion to build new infrastructure to support Canada’s system of gateways and border crossings, including the Atlantic Gateway. Financial assistance for the Atlantic Gateway is designed to strengthen Atlantic Canada’s world-class transportation system and position the region as a key marine corridor for international commerce.

Organized by the Trade Centre Limited, the primary goal of this mission is to capture a bigger share of rising trade flows between North America and foreign markets. Research shows that changing trade patterns and global supply trends work to Atlantic Canada’s advantage, owing to its proximity to markets, deep ice-free waters and transportation connections by rail, road and air.

During the Breakbulk Europe Conference & Exhibition, May 26-28, mission participants will promote the benefits of moving goods through the Atlantic Gateway at networking events and panel discussions, including an opening reception hosted by the Atlantic Canada delegation. The theme of the conference is "Working Toward Recovery" and will feature a lineup of key breakbulk industry executives and leaders who will address the challenges facing this industry and present solutions for economic recovery.

Prior to the conference, the delegation will raise the Atlantic Gateway’s global profile through their participation in a visit to the port of Antwerp, the largest breakbulk port in Europe, and through a series of business-to-business meetings with Third-Party Logistics companies, freight forwarders and exporting companies. The goal is to identify trade opportunities and form strategic partnerships to increase the Atlantic Gateway’s share of international shipments and to facilitate the export of Canadian products to Europe.

Financial assistance for the delegation’s participation in the Breakbulk Europe Conference & Exhibition is provided through the IBDA. The IBDA is a federal/provincial agreement between the Government of Canada (ACOA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Industry Canada) and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, and is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses enter, explore and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is the leading component of a pan-Atlantic effort to foster business relations, to attract foreign investment and to nurture technological co-operation.


Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural
709-729-4570, 709-690-6290
Rose May Gallant
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency



Following is the list of the Atlantic Canadian ports participating in the 4th annual Breakbulk Europe Conference & Exhibition:

New Brunswick
Port of Belledune
Port of Dalhousie
Port of Saint John

Newfoundland and Labrador
Port of Corner Brook
Port of St. John’s

Nova Scotia
Port of Halifax
Strait of Canso Superport

2009 05 22                                                    3:25 p.m.

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