(Executive Council)
February 28, 2005

Premier Williams travels to Washington to participate in National Governors Winter Conference 2005

Premier Danny Williams will travel to Washington, D.C., this week where he will meet with his counterparts from the New England states. Premier Williams will participate in the New England State Governors Conference closed session, a break out session of the National Governors Winter Conference. The annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) will take place from February 26 to March 1, and represents the annual meeting of governors and President George W. Bush and members of his Cabinet. Premier Williams will be accompanied by Minister of Natural Resources, Ed Byrne.

"I look forward to meeting with the New England Governors during this conference, along with other key players in Washington from Newfoundland and Labrador�s perspective," said Premier Williams. "In this global community, we must take every opportunity as a province to promote what we have to offer to the world. This trip will allow myself and Minister Byrne the opportunity to discuss our petroleum industry, specifically natural gas, our hydro resources and other issues of mutual interest."

Premier Williams will attend the New England Governors closed session on Tuesday, March 1, where the main agenda item of interest will be natural gas, and the potential for that resource. The premier will also take the opportunity to encourage the New England Governors to attend this summers New England Governors - Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference, being hosted by Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John�s.

"I will also be discussing the trade relationship between our two regions, and the success of existing partnerships and the potential for new ones," added the premier. "Through the New England Trade and Investment Initiative, our Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development have been very successful in promoting and enhancing international trade opportunities with New England. I will be discussing this program and future opportunities. Our province has a lot to offer and we must be bold and confident in promoting ourselves internationally."

Premier Williams will also meet with newly appointed Ambassador of Canada to the United States, His Excellency Frank McKenna. "Ambassador McKenna is very new to this position, and I am delighted he agreed to meet with me on his very first day on the job," said Premier Williams. "Our ambassadors around the world serve a valuable function in their respective countries. They build relationships on that ground that can prove invaluable in forwarding provincial agendas, and I will be discussing these types of opportunities with Mr. McKenna."

Premier Williams will also attend the Canada - U.S. Partnership Day ceremony and reception and meet with Alberta�s representative in Washington, Murray Smith.

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960 or (709) 690-5500,

2005 02 28                          10:05 a.m.

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