Trade and educational links between Portsmouth and Canadian city Halilfax in Nova Scotia 'full of promise'
A NEW trade and educational relationship between Portsmouth and a Canadian city has been branded 'full of promise' after an initial online conference proved a success.
Around 100 businesses from the Portsmouth area and Nova Scotia, in Canada, attended an event that detailed a new investment, trade and educational relationship with Halifax - a potential 'sister' city - after a physical visit was postponed due to Covid.
Areas covered during the meeting, which was led by the leader of Portsmouth City Council and the Mayor of Halifax, included renewable energy, maritime, aerospace, engineering and manufacturing and the digital and creative sector.
Leader of the city council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'This event was just the beginning for our new relationship with Halifax.
'It was a fantastic first step into a relationship that is full of promise. We know we have businesses and educational institutions in Portsmouth with loads to offer on the world's stage, and we were so pleased to be able to make that happen.
'It's inspiring to hear about connections that have already been made as a result of the event.'
The government is planning to sign a new trade deal with Canada this year.
'In challenging global times it's more important than ever to look to the future for ways we can help Portsmouth and the Solent to thrive,' Cllr Vernon-Jackson added.
Participants also heard from the naval base commanders of the navy in both cities as well as BAE systems.
Naval Base Commander, Commodore JJ Bailey, said: 'Together we can work to realise the right type of bases to support exciting new naval capabilities, achieve operational outputs and address new demands such as a net-zero carbon footprint.
'This will include how we build the right partnerships with industrial colleagues to meet these challenges.
'As one of our closest Nato allies we value our relationship with Halifax and regularly welcome their warships here; I was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss common ground with Captain Williams during this virtual mission and help forge even closer ties between our two cities.'
The venture follows on from recent initiatives which has seen the council establish a similar city bond with Sylhet in Bangladesh.