21 Nov. 2012: A resolution was passed today in the House of Assembly for the Provincial Government to develop an action plan with the goal of further positioning Newfoundland and Labrador as a leader in Arctic-related activities.

Through the Arctic Opportunities Initiative, the Provincial Government is working with business and organizations to identify opportunities in the Arctic, building knowledge and capacity, and creating awareness of Newfoundland and Labrador’s expertise and capabilities related to the Arctic.

“The Arctic is undergoing significant change and with that comes economic and business opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “Local businesses and organizations already have a presence in the Arctic and capacity for Arctic-related activities is growing. Through the continued development of the Arctic Opportunities Initiative we are working closely with our partners to identify how we can best assist them achieve their goals of business growth in the north.”

Earlier this fall, there were six engagement sessions held as part the Arctic Opportunities Initiative. Over 150 individuals from various levels of government, industry, and academia participated in the sessions and agreed that Newfoundland and Labrador is well-positioned to benefit from the emerging opportunities in the Arctic – in particular, those that relate to supply and service, transportation, logistics, natural resources, as well as the development and commercialization of technology.

“With the passing of today’s motion, we will continue to develop an action plan that will play a central role in the Arctic Opportunities Initiative,” said Minister Hutchings. “It will be a plan that reflects the principles outlined in today’s debate and builds on the internationally-recognized capabilities and expertise that exists in Newfoundland and Labrador. As the Provincial Government works with local companies to embrace these opportunities, we are contributing to the continued development of the provincial economy.”

Launched in spring 2010, the Arctic Opportunities Initiative is led by the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development.

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Media contact: Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development; tel:709-729-4570; cEL: 690-6290; EMAIL: scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca