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May 10, 2006
(Executive Council)

Premier Williams to attend Conference of  New England Governors
and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP)

Premier Williams said today he looks forward to strengthening ties and taking action on issues of common interest at the 30th Annual New England Governors-Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference this week in Rhode Island.

"Newfoundland and Labrador played host to a very successful conference in 2005, facilitating vibrant discussions on issues of mutual concern relating to oceans, energy, security, trade and the environment," said Premier Williams. "I am looking forward to building on that success and developing further positive relationships like the MOU we currently have in place with Rhode Island."

Premier Williams indicated that he is especially pleased this year�s agenda will again focus on issues related to oceans and energy suggesting both are of fundamental importance to a prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador. "Energy discussions could not be timelier given our recently announced plan to develop the lower Churchill on our own and this conference will allow us to promote development plans to potential stakeholders on both sides of the border," added Premier Williams. "With plans well underway to harness our enormous hydro, wind, oil and natural gas potential into an energy warehouse, the conference will help us to better understand the energy needs of our colleagues and allow us to forge the necessary relationships as we promote all that our province has to offer."

The premier added that he looks forward to discussions on the ocean management strategy developed in Newfoundland and Labrador during last year�s meetings. "Newfoundland and Labrador are leaders in the field of marine technology and our expertise is sought internationally. It is important we continue to share regional success stories and information on research and development, technology, and commercialization to properly develop economic potential, while protecting the environment and promoting sustainability."

Premier Williams will also lead a delegation of 10 companies and organizations from the province to Rhode Island to take part in a trade and technology mission being held in conjunction with NEG-ECP. Newfoundland and Labrador organized a similar marine technology focused reverse trade mission last year achieved tremendous success. "Newfoundland and Labrador will have the largest delegation attending this year�s trade mission, and I am confident our delegates will capitalize on business meetings arranged with companies and organizations with a mutual interest in the marine technology sector. We are pleased to work with Rhode Island to build upon the success of last year."

The NEG-ECP comprises the five eastern Canadian provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; New Brunswick; and Quebec, and the six New England states: Rhode Island; Maine; Vermont; New Hampshire; Massachusetts; and Connecticut. The conference will take place May 11-13 in Newport, Rhode Island.

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

2006 05 10                                             11:25 a.m.

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