April 14, 2008
Newfoundland and Labrador Signs MOU with Iceland
Interest and activity in trade between Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador has been steadily growing in recent years. Today in St. John�s, the two jurisdictions formalized a partnership to further explore opportunities with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU was announced by the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and His Excellency Geir H. Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland, during a ceremony at The Rooms in St. John�s today. The ceremony was attended by business people, representatives of industry and cultural associations, educators and government officials.
"The Provincial Government has led a number of trade missions to Iceland in recent years and each one has proven very successful," said Premier Williams. "We recognize the similarities in our respective jurisdictions and we welcome the opportunity to learn from each other as we move forward. Our government is proud to formalize this relationship with Iceland, as we know the value of sharing information and building partnerships with other jurisdictions. I thank Prime Minister Haarde for his personal interest and I look forward to many positive results and exciting opportunities as a result of this MOU."
The MOU is designed to further promote the friendly relations that exist between Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador. In particular, it seeks to enhance co-operation between business and industries through business ventures, technology transfer and research and development; and to enhance co-operation in cultural industries, education and the arts.
"In Iceland, we enthusiastically welcome this new Memorandum of Understanding with Newfoundland and Labrador which will unquestionably enhance direct relations between two North Atlantic neighbours, our governments, institutions, businesses and people in general," said Prime Minister Haarde. "It covers a very broad range of issues and prospects in both economic and cultural developments. It will serve as a catalyst for stakeholders in different fields of activities to embark on new avenues with respect to bilateral contacts between our countries. The milestone free-trade agreement between Iceland and Canada, which is now in its final stages before formal ratification and implementation, will bring about completely new commercial opportunities for our business communities. Already existing trade links will be reinforced and new ones created. The long awaited air services agreement which is now in place and operational, will also boost two-way traffic and further facilitate a successful execution of the MOU between Iceland and Newfoundland Labrador."
In recent years, the province has led a number of trade missions to Iceland the most recent being in November 2007 in which 31 companies and organizations participated. During the mission, a three-day trade show was held that was expected to attract 2,000 people, but after the event it was recorded that more than 5,000 Icelanders attended. As a result of these missions, a number of contracts have been signed by Newfoundland and Labrador businesses with Icelandic companies in the fields of ocean technology, clothing, construction, craft and giftware.
The trade missions have led to the formation of valuable partnerships. Companies such as Northstar Technical and R. Sigmundsson are collaborating in product development for the next generation of acoustic products to be produced by Northstar. The Hurley Group of Companies of Conception Bay South and BYKO � the Iceland equivalent of Home Depot � have partnered to market signage products. It has also established a distributor for tiles and partnered with a leading stone company. In November 2007, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Fly Fresh Freight announced there would be direct non-stop flights weekly from Gander to Iceland that will carry fresh Newfoundland and Labrador seafood cargo to various European markets.
The areas of initial priority identified in the MOU are educational interchange and industrial development in the areas of environmental management and environmental industries, information and communications technology, life sciences, ocean technologies, collaboration in oceans and coastal management initiatives, marine safety and rescue, fisheries and aquaculture, energy, transportation, and cultural and artistic collaborations.
Memorandum of Understanding
the Government of Iceland
as represented by the Prime Minister
the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
as represented by the Premier
(hereinafter referred to collectively as the Parties)
WHEREASthe Parties wish to further promote the friendly relations that exist between Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador;
WHEREAS the Parties recognize ongoing export development efforts in each other�s markets, and seek to enhance mutually advantageous economic and social cooperation through government, industrial, business and cultural activities including general tourism;
WHEREAS the Parties seek to enhance cooperation and awareness between their respective business, industry, cultural, educational, and governmental sectors, primarily in business ventures and related technology transfer, research and development activities, environmental management and environmental industries, as well as cultural industry-related arrangements and activities, and the arts;
WHEREAS the Parties seek to enhance interest in, encourage, and facilitate joint ventures and exchanges; and
WHEREAS the Parties mutually derive benefits from information transfer and exchange;
NOW, THEREFORE, this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirms the Parties� desire to enhance, develop and further, to the extent possible, appropriate and complementary activities consistent with the needs and priorities of economic and cultural development and enhancement of each of the Parties.
The Parties will seek to identify needs and requirements in those areas of mutual benefit relevant to business and industry cooperation, technology transfer, research and development, cooperative training activities, academic interchange, related activities, cultural events and activities, and the arts. This may be achieved by:
a) meetings of various industry associations/firms and departments/agencies of government with the aim of identifying areas of common interests and complementary skills, and to explore the potential for joint business ventures or other cooperative arrangements;
b) meetings of various industry associations/firms and cultural and artistic groups to exchange information on general or specific subjects and to identify research and development projects and programs that may be usefully undertaken on a cooperative basis;
c) identification of mechanisms to foster productive linkages between the public and private sectors in Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador;
d) identification of new business sectors with growth potential that are capable of benefiting both Parties and identification of ways to facilitate their development, such as marine technologies and life sciences;
e) exchange of information on activities, policies, practices, legislation and regulations concerning areas of interest;
f) visits and exchanges of officials, personnel or other representatives on general or specific subjects;
g) implementation of agreed-upon cooperation projects and programs; and
h) other forms of cooperative activities as may be decided by the Parties from time to time.
The forms, modalities and conditions for cooperation within the framework of this MOU, as well as the potential role of departments, enterprises, institutions, organizations, and other entities engaged in activities of this MOU, will be determined by the Parties.
The Parties may consult each other with a view to establishing a Coordinating Committee to examine how cooperation between Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador can best be furthered. Any such Committee could consist of representatives of both government and industry in the areas of business, culture, technology, education, the arts, environment and natural resources. This Committee may hold periodic meetings at times mutually acceptable to the Parties.
3.1 A Committee may:
discuss any matters pertaining to this MOU;
consider ways and means of promoting cooperation between the Parties in a mutually advantageous manner;
establish mutually acceptable priorities in areas of interest;
exchange information and encourage improved communications between companies and institutes of Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador;
provide a forum for coordinating activities in the areas of cooperation set out in this MOU;
suggest further areas of cooperation;
publicly advertise areas covered by this MOU and report progress annually for review by the signatories.
Subject to the approval of the Parties, civilian agencies and organizations of other governments may participate in particular cooperative programs or projects.
This MOU will be subject to the laws and regulations in force at the time in Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Each Party will bear its own costs for the administration of this MOU, including the costs associated with any meetings related thereto.
This MOU is not legally binding and places no legal obligation on the Parties. Any matter involving the interpretation or implementation of this MOU will be addressed by consultation between the Parties, and will not be referred to a tribunal or any other third party.
Either of the Parties may terminate this MOU by providing the other Party with notice of termination. The MOU will expire 60 days after a notice of termination is received.
The Parties will endeavour to give initial priority to educational interchange and industrial development in the areas of environmental management and environmental industries, information and communications technology, life sciences, ocean technologies, collaboration in oceans and coastal management initiatives, marine safety and rescue, fisheries and aquaculture, energy, transportation, and cultural and artistic collaborations, particularly in the film, literary, music and visual arts sectors.
Signed on this 14th day of April in the year Two Thousand Eight, in two originals, each in the English Language
His Excellency Geir. H. Haarde
The Honourable Danny Williams
2008 04 14 10:40 a.m.
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