September 18, 2012: Today in St. Anthony, the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, launched a series of engagement sessions as part of the Provincial Government’s Arctic Opportunities Initiative.

“With the eyes of the world looking northward, Newfoundland and Labrador is ready to lead the way,” said Minister Hutchings. “Collectively, Newfoundland and Labrador’s knowledge and expertise of working in cold and harsh ocean environments, ideal geographic location, industrial infrastructure, first-rate educational, research and development capacity, and innovative, world-class companies position the province at the frontier of Arctic-related activities. This exercise holds the potential to further identify new economic and business opportunities.”

Through the Arctic Opportunities Initiative, the Provincial Government is working with business and organizations to identify opportunities in the Arctic, build knowledge and capacity, and create awareness of Newfoundland and Labrador’s expertise and capabilities related to the Arctic. As part of the engagement sessions, discussion will include activities in the Arctic, opportunities and challenges, as well as the role of the Provincial Government in facilitating such opportunities.

“These sessions will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to be a part of the process from the beginning,” said Minister Hutchings. “The dialogue and information generated during these sessions will be an essential component in determining how the Provincial Government can assist stakeholders in successfully pursuing opportunities in the Arctic, as well as in the further development of the Arctic Opportunities Initiative.”

Business and organizations from a variety of industry sectors, industry associations, academic institutions, and the Federal Government have been invited to participate.

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Media contact: Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, 709-729-4570, 690-6290,