Minister Mackay to lead Canada's Atlantic Gateway business mission to India



    HALIFAX, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of
National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(ACOA), will lead an Atlantic Gateway-focused business mission to India from
February 18 to 22, 2008. The mission will include key business forums in New
Delhi and Mumbai and promote Canada's Atlantic Gateway to Indian shippers,
business leaders, and key government representatives.
    Minister MacKay will be accompanied by provincial government
representatives and a private sector delegation representing airports, ports,
railways, and transportation-related associations active in Atlantic Canada.
    "The development of Canada's Gateways and Trade Corridors is part of our
government's commitment to facilitating international trade and increasing our
national competitiveness by linking North America to the world," said Minister
MacKay. "This mission demonstrates our Government's continuing partnership
with the four Atlantic Provinces to develop the Atlantic Gateway initiative."
    "The Atlantic Gateway is an important part of the Government of Canada's
strategy to improve out trade competitiveness through gateways which connect
North America with the world," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in support of the mission. "We
consider India to be a priority market and this mission will provide Canadian
businesses with the chance to develop and strengthen commercial ties with
their Indian counterparts."
    Ministers from all four Atlantic Provinces will participate in the
mission They include: the Honourable Angus MacIsaac, Deputy Premier, Minister
of Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Gateway in
Nova Scotia, the Honourable Paul Oram, Minister of Business for Newfoundland
and Labrador, the Honourable Ron W. MacKinley, Minister of Transportation and
Public Works for Prince Edward Island, and the Honourable Denis Landry,
Minister of Transportation for New Brunswick.
    In October 2007, Minister MacIsaac joined representatives from the
Halifax Port Authority on a trade mission to India. Mr. MacIsaac said the
Atlantic Gateway business mission will continue to build on Nova Scotia's
efforts to secure important cultural ties and business relationships with
government and industry leaders in one of the world's fastest growing markets.
"Securing our position as North America's Atlantic Gateway is a high priority
for our government," said Mr. MacIsaac. "In partnership with our federal and
provincial counterparts, we'll continue our efforts to bring more awareness of
the Atlantic region's proximity to markets and our deep, ice-free ports and
excellent rail, truck, marine and air connections to influential stakeholders
in India."
    While in India, Minister MacKay will meet in New Delhi and Mumbai with
Indian government officials and key representatives of the Indian private
sector.

    The mission follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
between the Federal and Provincial Governments to develop the Atlantic
Gateway.

    A backgrounder with a list of the participating companies and
organizations that will make up the business delegation is attached.

    For more information on Canada's Atlantic Gateway, visit
http://www.tc.gc.ca/GatewayConnects/Atlantic/AtlanticGateway.html.

    NOTE: Members of the media are advised that Minister MacKay will be
    available to respond to media questions about the India Mission on Friday
    February 15 starting at 12:30 p.m. E.T. Interested media should call
    1-888-265-0464 and provide the conference ID (#34933548) by
    12:15 E.T. to join the call.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
             Canada's Atlantic Gateway Business Mission to India

    The following companies and organizations will make up the business
delegation:

    - Wes Armour, President and CEO, Armour Transportation
    - Paul Brigley, Chief Financial Officer, Halterm Limited
    - Doug Hayden-Luck, Sales Director - International Intermodal, CN
      Railways
    - Ann Janega, VP, Nova Scotia Division, Canadian Manufacturers and
      Exporters
    - Hugh Lynch, Chairman, Melford International Terminal Inc.
    - Douglas MacArthur, President, Canadian Agro Sustainability Partnership
    - John Murphy, VP Transportation, J.D. Irving Limited
    - Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority
    - Rob Robichaud, President and CEO, Greater Moncton International Airport
    - Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority
    - Captain Al Soppitt, President and CEO, Saint John Port Authority
    - Ron Tepper, President and CEO, Consolidated FastFrate Inc.
    - Michael DiVirgilio, Senior VP Development, Ceres Termin
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Yonke, Senior Advisor Office of the
Honourable Peter MacKay, (902) 426-4414, chris.yonke@acoa-apeca.gc.ca; Alex
Smith, Director of Communications, ACOA Nova Scotia, (902) 426-9417; Shalon
McLachlan, Communications Advisor, Nova Scotia Department of Transportation
and Infrastructure Renewal, (902) 424-3289; (This news release is available on
the Internet at www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca under Media Room)


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