Greg Rickford Stresses Importance of Trade and Jobs

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Naturallia Forum
Naturalllia Forum

Minister Greg Rickford
Minister Greg Rickford

SAULT STE MARIE – “Our Government has made trade a priority as evidenced by the recent comprehensive trade agreement reached between Canada and the European Union,” said Minister of Science and Technology Greg Rickford. “We recognize that trade and investment between nations create jobs and opportunities for Canadians and the businesses of Northern Ontario by opening the doors for them to pursue their own strategic alliances through events like Naturallia.”

Rickford who also carries the responsibilities for FedNor, and is the federal Minister responsible for the Ring of Fire, today addressed participants at Naturallia 2013, a leading Canadian business alliance forum on natural resources. During his remarks, Minister Rickford emphasized the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to private sector growth, trade expansion, and job creation.

 Small and medium-sized businesses in the smart energy, advanced manufacturing, value-added wood products and mining sectors from around the globe are meeting in Sault Ste. Marie for three days to discuss potential partnerships. The matchmaking event is designed to connect businesses with global markets, enabling them to identify key suppliers, extend their networks and increase export business to better position themselves for increased growth and the realities of an ever-changing economy.

“Our Government remains focused on providing the right environment for economic growth, through effective cooperation across all sectors, to keep Canadians working and to ensure the long-term prosperity of all our communities,” concluded Minister Rickford. 

Initiated by RDÉE Ontario Alliances, and proudly supported by FedNor and the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Naturallia 2013 is being hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.

Naturallia Forum in Sault Ste Marie

Sectors

Involving upwards of 200 companies from around the world, Naturallia 2013 is focused on the natural resources sector, particularly:

Advanced Manufacturing

Manufacturing is big business. In Ontario alone, there are more than $254 billion (U.S.) in shipments annually. From value-added steel products and telecommunications equipment, to electronics and aviation equipment, the industry is strong and diverse.

Mining Supply and Services

Ontario has been one of the world’s leading mineral producers for more than a century. Northern Ontario is home to 26 of the province’s 27 metal mines, 14 gem stone mines, and five of Ontario’s major industrial mining operations.

Value-added Forest Products

Ontario’s forest resources cover 690,000 square kilometres, or 17% of Canadian forests and 2% of the world’s forests. Exports from the sector are mostly primary or commodity products, including newsprint, market pulp, lumber and composite panels.

Smart Energy

The demand for smart energy throughout the world is on the rise. With many governments shifting focus to clean and alternative energy sources, much opportunity exists. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Alternative Energy Capital of North America, various initiatives are underway, including a 189MW wind farm, 60MW solar farm and 70MW cogeneration project at Essar Steel Algoma.

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