- Associated Press - Saturday, June 7, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gov. Paul LePage will meet with the president of Iceland when he joins members of Maine’s industry sectors for a three-day trade mission to the island country to cultivate business opportunities with the North Atlantic region.

Maine’s economic relationship with Iceland was strengthened by shipping company Eimskip’s decision to make Portland its East Coast port of call last year. The trade mission will offer local companies a chance to learn about the investments that the region has to offer, officials said.

“Since Eimskip moved its headquarters, there’s been lots of interest in Iceland - who we can sell to, who we can buy from,” said Dana Eidsness, director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office in the Maine International Trade Center, which planned the trip.

LePage, who departs for Reykjavik on Monday, will meet with President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and discuss how Maine can play an active role as oil and gas industries grow in the Arctic, according to an itinerary provided by his office.

He’ll also visit one of Iceland’s food and beverage products distributors and tour the Ocean Cluster House, a collection of companies that strive to use all parts of seafood products.

This will be the Republican governor’s third trade mission since taking office in 2011. Adrienne Bennett, a spokeswoman for LePage, said the missions that LePage joined in China and Latin America in 2012 and 2013 have resulted in $7.5 million in reported export sales for Maine.

More than 40 people are expected to attend the trip, including members of Maine’s seafood and paper industries and academic institutions. The mission allows businesses an opportunity to learn what to expect in the market and how to be competitive in a short period of time, Eidsness said.

“This is a tremendous mix of businesses and educational institutions, partnering with government and trade organizations, all sharing a common goal of developing new business relationships leading to new private investment and greater prosperity for Maine people,” LePage said in a statement.

LePage will return to Maine on Wednesday, but some members of the delegation will continue on to London for the rest of the week. There, they’re scheduled to participate in business-matchmaking events and a reception featuring Maine foods, like lobster rolls, blueberries and New England clam chowder.

___

Follow Alanna Durkin on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/aedurkin

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide