03 Dec. 2012: Fourteen of Atlantic Canada’s leading defence contractors, suppliers and organizations, including four from Newfoundland and Labrador, are attending a global supply-chain initiative to Valparaiso, Chile. The delegation is participating in ExpoNaval 2012, an international conference and exhibition of technologies, equipment and services for Latin America’s naval defence industry, from Dec. 4 -7, 2012. The four companies from this province include

“Opening new markets and increasing Canadian exports is a key part of our Government’s plan to create jobs, growth and prosperity,” said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie). “The aerospace, marine and defence industry in Atlantic Canada is world-class and successfully competing on the international stage, and we must strive to continually broaden our trade horizons to help our companies expand and enhance our economic performance. Business missions like ExpoNaval are a key way for Atlantic Canadian companies to establish valuable contacts in the marine defence industry, leading to increased business opportunities beyond our borders in emerging markets.”

This will be the third time the Agency has supported an initiative to ExpoNaval, which is held on a biennial basis, and is considered to be the most important maritime defence and ocean industry exhibition in the South American region. The event attracts over 7,500 visitors, including official naval delegations, military attachés from across Central and South America, government and defence industry representatives, military decision-makers and international defence contractors active in the region. ACOA is organizing this initiative in partnership with ADIANS, Nova Scotia’s marine, aerospace and defence industry association, on behalf of the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace and Defence Associations (AAADA).

The four Newfoundland and Labrador companies include Dynamic Air Shelters; Marine Industrial Lighting Systems; Provincial Aerospace Ltd.; and Virtual Marine Technology.

ExpoNaval represents a gateway into the Latin American market for Atlantic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and it is a key element in the Government of Canada’s Strategy of the Americas. In 2011, two-way bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the four Pacific Alliance countries – which include Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – reached $39.3 billion, an increase of 12 percent from 2010.

At this year’s show, Atlantic delegates will have the opportunity to showcase their quality goods and services, gain knowledge about the Latin American industry, make connections with major buyers, create new alliances, and increase export sales. Key activities include an Atlantic Canadian pavilion at the show, business networking events including an Atlantic reception, and an Atlantic Canada showcase event where delegates will present their innovative services and products to international contractors, foreign navy representatives, and local Chilean businesses.

Export trade is a source of growth, employment and prosperity for the region and Atlantic Canada’s aerospace and defence industry is a major driver of the region’s economy, having seen a 231% growth in export revenues since 2001, while generating export revenues of $1 billion annually. More than 200 industry firms in the Atlantic region provide globally-competitive solutions and support to military and commercial markets – both domestic and international – and employ over 10,000 skilled and experienced workers combined.

The Government of Canada is contributing $140,000 toward the mission under ACOA’s Business Development Program.

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For More Information: Andrea Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
613-790-3637

Greg Rogers, Senior Communications Officer, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, 506-851-7814
greg.rogers@acoa-apeca.gc.ca