August 28, 2006
Premier visiting Iceland and Norway to discuss best practices in fishery and energy related industries
Given the tremendous importance of both the fishery and energy related industries to Newfoundland and Labrador�s economy, Premier Danny Williams says that meeting with other jurisdictions that have demonstrated best practices will assist this province in developing sound and effective policies for the future. From August 29 to September 1, Premier Williams will be visiting Iceland and Norway where he will meet with government and industry officials. He will be accompanied by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Tom Rideout, and government and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro officials.
"I strongly believe in learning from the experiences of others, and both Iceland and Norway are recognized as extremely good models for success in the fishery and energy sectors respectively," said Premier Williams. "As our government continues to move our province toward a more sustainable and self-reliant future, it is important to learn from other jurisdictions around the world, especially those with some similar circumstances to Newfoundland and Labrador."
Premier Williams and Minister Rideout will meet with several government officials and industry representatives including; the Canadian Ambassador to Iceland, the Minister of Industry for Iceland, the Minister of Fisheries for Iceland, the Director and Deputy Director of the Marine Research Institute (Iceland), the State Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs for Norway, the State Secretary of the Minister of Petroleum and Energy for Norway, and officials with Norsk Hydro.
"The fishery has sustained our province for centuries, and it continues today to be a main economic driver in many of our rural communities," said Premier Williams. "And we all recognize that the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is undergoing changes, and there is broad-based support for a renewal process so that we are prepared to adapt to challenges. This will be critical as we work towards secure and viable rural communities."
Issues facing the province�s fishery are similar to those in Iceland such as; resource decline and pressures; market challenges; weakened US dollar; and competition from China. Norway also faced difficulties with their fishery and have turned obstacles into opportunities with significant investment into aquaculture. The results have been extraordinary, making Norway one of the world�s leading jurisdictions in aquaculture technology and production. The Premier said that given the province�s recent investments into the aquaculture, it will be very worthwhile to gain the Norwegian perspective.
"I am also anxious to visit with some energy officials while in Norway," said Premier Williams. "Everyone in the province knows that I am absolutely committed to making certain that Newfoundland and Labrador reaps maximum benefits from our offshore resources. With oil prices reaching unprecedented levels, the time has never been better to start implementing policies that ensure we improve our return from these finite resources.
"Norsk Hydro are key players in our province�s offshore and I am anxious to sit and share with them my vision for our industry. As well, the Norwegian government has been very successful in developing regimes that guarantee benefits for the state, and given my interest in fallow field legislation, equity participation and industrial benefits, I especially look forward to these discussions."
Premier Williams said he is confident that given the extraordinary revenues oil and gas companies are making and the dynamic in the world today vis-�-vis oil and gas markets, there is a recognition in the industry that his government�s new approach is not unreasonable. The Premier believes that lessons learned on this trip will be valuable as he moves forward with his agenda for the future of the industry in the province.
The Premier will also have meetings on alternative forms of energy including a geothermal and hydrogen. "We are successfully positioning Newfoundland and Labrador as an energy warehouse, and while we are actively developing projects and policies in more common areas such as hydro, wind, oil and natural gas, we must continue to look forward to alternative energy sources," added Premier Williams. "Iceland has embraced research and development opportunities in innovative areas and it will be worthwhile to learn from them, and apply their knowledge to our province where we feel it is feasible."
Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 351-1227, email@example.com
Iceland Facts and Figures
Norway Facts and Figures:
Newfoundland and Labrador facts and figures:
2006 08 28 1:50 p.m.
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