ICBA Inaugural International Summit, Toronto
In the interests of learning more about existing and potential Ireland-Canada business opportunities, and to further develop strong networking opportunities for our membership, Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce Calgary President, Laureen Regan, attended the Ireland Canada Business Association (ICBA) Inaugural International Summit held at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre, Toronto, on March 10, 2011.
In preparation for the summit, the ICBA delegation attended meetings with government and industry in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto to raise awareness and profile trade opportunities as well as to encourage stronger business connections between Ireland and Canada. Key figures in the Irish and Canadian business and government sectors attended the summit meetings, including Canadian Minister of Finance, the Honorable Jim Flaherty; the Irish Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Ray Bassett; the Irish Deputy Minister of Finance, Michael Horgan; and representatives of the national group of Irish Chambers of Commerce in Canada, among others.
A pre-summit meeting between all Canadian Chambers of Commerce that were able to attend led to the review of the ireland-canada.ca website linking all chambers and a review of the website, irishjobs.ca, with the aim of further developing the site into a comprehensive national resource for all chambers.
At the summit, speeches and panel discussions further explored Ireland and Canada’s economic ties and potential. In addition, there was a strong focus on encouraging the major airlines to offer direct air links between the two countries.
Our March 3, 2011, whiskey tasting event provided a unique networking opportunity for our membership and their guests who gathered at the Global Business Centre in Calgary to enjoy a whiskey presentation by Andy Dunn and to sample four award-winning Irish whiskies from Ireland’s Cooley Distillery.
A New Irish Ambassador to Canada
This year we held a number of key events, among them a business luncheon in November 2010 at Calgary’s Westin Hotel to welcome the new Irish Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Ray Bassett.
In a vigorous and detailed talk, Ambassador Bassett reflected on the opportunities for both Canada and Ireland in continuing to build strong trade relationships. Mr. Jim Prentice, former Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre North, introduced the Ambassador. Newly elected Mayor Naheed Nenshi was among the audience of 90 some Calgarian’s from the finance, energy and business communities who attended this event.