Fort Kent (ME) —Breaking down barriers to trade between the U.S., Canada and even Europe is the driving force behind a two-day conference on exporting this August in Fort Kent. The Economic component of the Congrès mondial acadien 2014, along with its partners in Maine, like Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP) and Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), will host a conference on the basics of exporting, trade agreements and expansion of trade and commercial relations between entrepreneurs of Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec. This conference, scheduled for Aug. 19 and 20 at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, is for any entrepreneur doing business in the Acadia of the Lands and Forests.
The economic component of the CMA 2014 will be a significant legacy to the hosting territory. The main goal is to get the three regions to work closely together. We hope the border communities of Acadia of the Lands and Forests will cease to see the boundaries that separate them as barriers and more as business opportunities and development opportunities”, said Émilien Nadeau, President of the CMA 2014.
“Any manufacturer or producer in our region interested in potentially seeing potential markets close by, or that might be interested in collaborating with like businesses, should attend,” said APP President Bob Dorsey.
The agenda for Export Conference: Exploring the Opportunities will begin with a reception late afternoon Aug. 19. The next day features B2B2GO business connections; a keynote speech on fostering US/Canada trade relations with Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General in Boston, Therry Weissenburger; an exploration of business opportunities in Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec; top 10 exporting do’s and don’ts; and panel discussions on customs, regulations and brokerage houses. The conference concludes with exporter testimonials, success stories and questions and answers. Dorsey added that although not formally part of the agenda, a contingent of business people from France, who will be attending the Congrèes mondial acadien, will be participating in the conference.
Alain Ouellette, planning and development division director at NMDC, serves on the organizing committee for the conference.“Our region is proof positive that for any economic development initiative to flourish, we must find ways to expand opportunities by creating a more open and collaborative environment with our neighbors in New Brunswick and Quebec,” he said.
“We want to have a legacy as a result of the Congress that will promote cross-border trade, business to business events, conferences on mutually important topics/issues, build continuing relations with businesses and organizations in New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec, joint transportation planning projects and educational opportunities,” said Bob Clark, executive director NMDC.
During the August event several economic seminars, conferences and summits will be held to help grow the economy of the three regions, northern Maine, northwestern New Brunswick and the Temiscouata, Quebec. Topics include a forestry seminar, business plan competition, agriculture and agri-food conference and a final economic summit, which wraps up the entire economic component of the congress.
The Congrès mondial acadien is a major celebration of Acadian culture and history held every five years since 1994. In 2014 from Aug. 8-24, more than 300 activities, including more than 100 family reunions, should attract up to 50,000 visitors to the region. The estimated economic impact is $55-million, but organizers want to make sure the ripple effects last for many years after the congress closes.
More on the conference or registration information can be found online at www.cma2014.com/en/economique/conference-sur-l-exportation or at www.appme.org. Sponsors of the conference are the Government of Canada, Provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Katahdin Trust Company, University of Maine at Fort Kent, APP and NMDC.