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December 9, 1999
(Industry, Trade and Technology)

Government announces the establishment of a new company through foreign investment

During a news conference today, Industry, Trade and Technology Minister Sandra C. Kelly announced that a new company has been established with the help of substantial foreign investment to identify industrial development opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Approximately two years ago, the provincial government initiated a relationship with a Taiwanese businessman to attract investment to the province. Following a government visit to Taiwan, and a subsequent Taiwanese delegation visit to the province this June, a partnership developed between private sector business interests in Newfoundland and Labrador and Taiwan, which has led to the establishment of this company.

Minister Kelly has just returned from a visit to Taiwan where she witnessed the formal establishment of the company and receipt of the funds. The new company, the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation (NLDC), will have its head office in St. John's, and a branch office in Taiwan. A major shareholder of the corporation is the Yao-Hwa Investment Fund in Taiwan, which has executed a share purchase for $7.39 million CDN that will give the fund a non-majority position in the company.

"I am pleased that government's efforts have resulted in successfully attracting this substantial investment from Taiwan," said Minister Kelly. "Our goal was to attract investment to the private sector in the province. We introduced Taiwanese business leaders to our province's private sector business leaders, and this new company came as a result of one of those introductions.

"It is a credit to the company president, Mr. Brian Dobbin, and his Taiwanese business partner Mr. Tim Lo, vice chairman and CEO of NLDC, that their hard work has helped finalize this deal. This serves as a starting point to study the feasibility of economic development opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador, and clearly demonstrates that the world sees this province as a good place to invest." NLDC expects to have its head office fully operating by the second quarter of 2000. The company will concurrently be opening its Asian headquarters in Taipei, which will assist in the promotion of further investment into Newfoundland and Labrador's surging economy. NLDC will be pursuing development opportunities across a spectrum of sectors, with special emphasis placed upon Newfoundland and Labrador-based processing and manufacturing, and oil and gas industries.

"We believe that the Newfoundland and Labrador economy has just begun to expand," said NLDC president Brian Dobbin. "The fact that such a significant investment has been made into a start-up company is a good indicator of the potential for us to attract additional international investment. We aim to build a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador industrial community that will ensure that our resource benefits stay in the province."

Media contact:

Jacqueline Simon
Director of Communications
Industry, Trade and Technology
(709) 729-0050

Brian Dobbin
President, Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation
(709) 754-4091


The following backgrounder is being distributed at the request of the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation


Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation is a Taiwanese-Newfoundland and Labrador joint venture company that will work with business and government to evaluate and plan mutual business opportunities. The Newfoundland and Labrador proponent of this joint venture is Newfound Developers Company Limited.

Four years ago, in July 1995, Brian Dobbin formed Newfound Developers Company Limited with three young professionals for the purpose of developing Newfoundland and Labrador industrial opportunities internationally. Not limited to any sector, the company's ideology is to bring new revenue to the province in industries that have high growth potential.

By October 1995, Newfound Developers started its first development project, Strawberry Hill Resort, which is located on a forested private valley on the banks of the Humber River. Along with revenue growth during the past four years, the company has increased the size of the resort from a capacity level of 14 guests to a present capacity of 50 guests. This has been done through the construction of eight resort chalets on the site, and other expansion and renovation projects. The employment level at the resort has reached 15 full-time and part-time positions, not including the construction jobs that were created while the chalets were being built.

A later partnership with Cottles Island Lumber Company saw the creation of Canex Development. Two current Canex projects are Humber Valley Resort and the planned community of Primavera in Southern Chile. Humber Valley Resort is a planned $78 million CDN, 21st century forest resort on a land assembly of 320 hectares of pristine woodland located on the north side of Deer Lake. This resort is to hold 150 chalets, similar to those at Strawberry Hill Resort, each on an acre of land. These chalets will surround a championship 18-hole golf course. Construction is scheduled for third quarter 2000 and investment in the corporation has begun to flow.

Primavera is a planned community being built to accommodate 4,000 people on 77 hectares of land outside the center of Temuco, Chile's fastest growing city, which has a current population of 280,000. The community will have a school, parks, and a business center, and is designed with new urban principles by Toronto planner Mr. Robert Glover. Primavera began construction in the second quarter 1999, and sales to date have surpassed $3 million CDN.

The planned project size is $95 million CDN over a seven year period. All of the homes and ancillary buildings have been shipped from Newfoundland and Labrador, and all site supervision and training has been provided by construction personnel in the province.

In 1999 these ventures have combined for cash flow of over $5 million CDN, with business participation in 11 countries and total direct generated employment of 75 people. Revenue projections for 2000 exceed $20 million and employment to be generated is anticipated at over 200 full time positions.

Newfound Developers and Canex Development will remain separate and distinct entities from Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation (NLDC). NLDC will use Newfound Developers' infrastructure and business network to develop larger industrial opportunities for the province.

Media contact:

Deborah Bourden
Applecore Communications
(709) 753-3652


 Brian Dobbin
NLDC (709) 754-4091

1999 12 09 3:30 p.m.

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