Strength of Georgia-Canada Relationship Highlighted at 2018 SEUS-CP Conference
Thursday, June 14th, 2018
GDEcD’s trade team recently joined representatives from Georgia’s business and economic development community in Mobile, Alabama to celebrate and reinforce the longstanding economic relationship between the southeastern U.S. and Canada. Formed in 2007, the Southeastern United States – Canadian Provinces alliance represents a strategic partnership between six southeast U.S. states and six eastern Canadian provinces whose purpose is to enhance trade and economic ties and encourage technological collaboration between the two regions.
The state of Georgia boasts a long history of economic partnership with Canada and has maintained continuous in-country representation since 1981. Canada consistently ranks as Georgia’s largest export market and in 2017 alone Georgia exported $6.2 billion worth of goods to Canada with total trade reaching $10.4 billion. Cross-border investment continues to thrive with more than $402 billion of Canadian investment flowing into Georgia since 2010. There are now at least 239 Canadian facilities operating in the state, employing more than 22,500 Georgians.
Georgia has successfully strengthened its trade and investment relationship with Canada through strategic economic development initiatives and strong support for regional alliances like SEUS-CP. Georgia and the Canadian province of Québec are also members of the Regional Leaders Summit (RLS), an alliance of seven international regions from five continents fostering the exchange of best practices on topics of mutual interest.
Now in its 11th year, the SEUS-CP alliance continues to deepen economic ties between the southeastern United States and Canada, and Georgia remains a strong partner in this endeavor. The three-day conference in early June brought together more than 200 business and industry leaders from each member state and province to participate in the exchange of ideas and development of new business partnerships. Chris Carr, State Attorney General and former Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development served as Georgia’s Head of Delegation and was joined by Georgia companies and economic development agencies from across the state including the Augusta Economic Development Authority, Big Bend Water Technologies, Market Access International, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Millennium Freight Solutions, Opex Systems and Whitlow Electric.
This year’s conference theme “Moving forward together” reflects the SEUS-CP mission to develop common strategic goals and open the door for trade between the member provinces and states. The SEUS-CP conference included a robust business-to-business matchmaking program to encourage trade and business development between the member regions. A total of 614 B2B meetings took place over the course of the event with seven Georgia companies and economic development organizations engaging in meetings.
Throughout the conference, a variety of speakers shared their insights on cross-border opportunities relating to Industry 4.0 and energy efficiency in the transportation sector. Additional sessions addressed the strong economic relationship between Canada and the southeast U.S. with the Consul General of Canada for the Southeast, Nadia Theodore, moderating a discussion on trade and investment between the two regions.
The success of this year’s SEUS-CP conference reflects the commitment of the alliance members to not only maintain but strengthen the economic partnerships that unite the regions. Georgia looks forward to the continued promotion of the SEUS-CP alliance as it prepares to serve as the host state when the conference returns to the U.S. in 2020.