Chicago, IL.- April 14, 2005 - After three full days of meetings with potential agents, brokers, distributors, and strategic partners, 45 Atlantic Canadian companies and organizations emerged from the globally diversified economic centre of Chicago with solid business leads for potential partnerships and export sales.
"The past three days have been very productive," said the Honourable Joseph McGuire, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). "The purpose of Team Canada Atlantic missions is to effectively market the products and services of Atlantic Canadian businesses and to promote Atlantic Canada as an attractive investment location. We have been successful on both counts."
Senator Marilyn Trenholme Counsell is taking part in the mission on behalf of Minister McGuire.
"This mission was time well spent," said Premier John Hamm. "Developing new markets requires efforts to raise awareness of the quality products and services being developed in Nova Scotia. Growth of exports benefits all Nova Scotians through increased prosperity."
During the trade mission, business delegates and officials participated in a comprehensive program that included one-on-one business meetings and several roundtable discussions. Discussions included: Doing Business in the U.S.; Border and Transportation Issues; Innovation, Science and Technology; meetings with U.S. CEOs; and networking opportunities with Chicago area business leaders.
Team Canada Atlantic companies and organizations participated in more than 200 formal business meetings with Chicago business contacts. The mission focused on developing opportunities for enhanced export business for Atlantic firms in the areas of advanced manufacturing; agriculture, agri-food and seafood; building and construction products; consumer products; information and communications technology; and life sciences.
Shawn Levangie, Vice President of Trail Blazer, said his company established relationships with eight salespeople in the Chicago area. These salespeople will make the company's lawn and garden products available at ACE Hardware stores across the U.S. In addition, the company secured a representative who will make its products available in a commercial mail order catalogue that is distributed across the U.S.
"We have participated in several Team Canada Atlantic trade missions, including New York, Atlanta and Boston," said Mr. Levangie. "With each trade mission, we become better prepared and more knowledgeable about what we want to achieve and how we should achieve it. The results for us on this trade mission have been tremendous."
Team Canada Atlantic is a partnership of ACOA, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs Canada, International Trade Canada and the four Atlantic provinces. Team Canada Atlantic is committed to strengthening the trade and investment relationship between Atlantic Canada and the United States.
Trade missions have been at the core of the Team Canada Atlantic approach since 1999. Nine trade missions to the New England states, Atlanta, New York, and Washington have helped more than 300 Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs to meet with nearly 2,500 buyers, agents and business owners from across the United States, resulting in export sales in excess of $35 million.