Atlantic provinces focus on united trading strategy

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HALIFAX, N.S. — The provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the development of Canada’s Atlantic Gateway.

This MOU provides the framework for collaboration between Canada and the Atlantic provinces.

It reflects the established principles and governance structure of the Atlantic Gateway Federal-Provincial Officials Committee, which was established in January 2007 following an agreement among key federal ministers, along with three other Atlantic Ministers of Transportation, to work collaboratively towards an Atlantic Gateway Strategy.

“Canada’s prosperity and quality of life depend on our success as a trading nation,” said the Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “An Atlantic Gateway strategy will benefit the Atlantic region and all of Canada by taking advantage of the region’s geographical position and transportation assets.”

The common vision of the five governments is to establish the Atlantic Gateway as a strategic, integrated and globally competitive transportation system, facilitating the movement of international commerce on North America’s east coast.

“Strengthening Nova Scotia’s position in the competitive world of international commerce through the development of the Atlantic Gateway is a top priority for the provincial government,” said Michael Baker, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Finance. “Nova Scotia is committed to pursuing this extraordinary opportunity in collaboration with our provincial and federal partners.”

The MOU outlines the objectives for the development of an Atlantic Gateway strategy over the next 24 months, including analytical work required to map and assess the multi-modal transportation system in the region that supports international commerce activities.

The main components of the MOU include: vision and objectives; a governance structure; and an action plan.

The success of the gateway approach depends upon partnerships and collaboration, not only across modes of transportation but also across the public and private sectors. For this reason, the MOU also identifies the need to engage the private sector and other interested stakeholders.

“The benefits the Atlantic Gateway can provide this region are enormous,” said Ron MacKinley, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “It will give businesses in Atlantic Canada, including Prince Edward Island, a far better opportunity to access trade markets world-wide.”

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