Looking North for business opportunities

Ashley
Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Government consultations roll on with session in St. John’s

Keith Hutchings, minister of innovation, business and rural development, opens the Arctic Opportunities Initiative forum at Glendenning Golf Club in St. John’s on Tuesday. The session will have business leaders and government employees identifying specific challenges and opportunities for businesses in the North and developing recommendations to see more relevant businesses get up and running. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Today, the provincial government is hosting another session aimed at developing a list of specific ways to grow the number of provincially-based businesses offering products and services in the Arctic.

The sessions — being completed in a workshop style, with back and forth discussions on key topics — are also meant to identify how government might create a greater awareness of existing companies, from here, active in the North.

“We know now there’s a number of companies engaged in the Arctic, but as we move forward and what’s happening — in terms of the Arctic opening up — I mean what opportunities exist that we can work with industry on to bring those along,” said Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development Keith Hutchings.

Hutchings spoke with reporters after opening today’s session, being held at Glendenning Golf Club in St. John’s. The first consultation session was held in St. Anthony on Sept. 18.

According to information provided to attendees, some of the challenges identified for launching in the North to date are: high costs (for example, in transportation and labour), harsh environment, logistics, regional competition, global competition and a lack of available infrastructure.

Geographic location and experience with harsh environments offshore are considered assets.

More in tomorrow’s edition of The Telegram.

Organizations: Glendenning Golf Club

Geographic location: Arctic, St. Anthony

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  • Tommy Johnson
    September 26, 2012 - 09:38

    With all the hydro power in Labrador why not use some of it to process the ore and ship by electric train to a Labrador port. Voisey's Bay manages to ship from a Labrador port. We need to stop using Labrador's resources to feed Quebec. We have done more than enough for those good people. They are doing just fine.