Our Provinces and the Americas - Atlantic Canada building trade ties in maritime defence industries

Minister Ashfield at the 2010 exponaval


The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the federal department that works to create opportunities for economic growth in the four provinces of Atlantic Canada – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador – by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive. Encouraging international trade is a key element of ACOA’s mandate.

In 2010, Minister Keith Ashfield successfully led a delegation of 10 defence contractors and suppliers to EXPONAVAL, Latin America’s largest international showcases for the naval defence industry. EXPONAVAL 2010, which took place in Valparaiso (Chile), attracted over 20,000 visitors from around the world with delegations from more than 60 countries and over 150 companies in attendance.

Minister Ashfield and the Atlantic Canadian delegation met with industry leaders, government officials and leading defence and naval stakeholders from around the world to showcase Atlantic Canada’s quality goods and services; gain knowledge about the Latin American naval defence industry; and make connections with major buyers in order to pursue sales and build greater commercial relations.

CARIS, the Fredericton, New Brunswick based software developer won a major contract to supply geospatial software to the Panama Canal Authority. The software will make navigation in the Panama Canal safer and more efficient.

ACOA plans to send a delegation to EXPONAVAL in 2012.

“EXPONAVAL provided us with increased access to the Latin American market and the contract we recently signed with the Panama Canal Authority shows that Canadian companies can succeed in Latin American.”

– Alejandro Gerones, Account Manager for software developer CARIS

“By participating in this international trade show, we exposed Atlantic companies to many new export opportunities, in particular with Latin American defence and naval industry leaders. This mission underscored once again the importance of our Government’s commitment to fostering strong trade and export relationships with the rest of the world.”

– Minister Ashfield