Transportation equipment trade groups based in Quebec and Plattsburgh have signed a Declaration of Cooperation.
North Country New York Transportation Equipment Cluster President Garry Douglas and Cluster Chairman James Tooley inked the pact Thursday with Quebec Ground Transportation Cluster Vice President of Operations M. Vincent Dugré and Chairman of the Board Martin Dufour.
The ceremony took place at Transport Rendezvous 2015 in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec.
Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said the most significant element of the agreement is the commitment to jointly develop and promote a successful and growing bi-national transportation grouping centered in Quebec and New York.
“As opposed to two separate clusters agreeing to do some sharing, we have agreed that we have a uniquely integrated international cluster with a shared future,” he said by email Friday.
“They have a strong alliance of companies with great experience in collaborative innovation and planning, and we have a strong record of performance in assisting Quebec transportation equipment companies in successfully entering the U.S. market.
“Successful partnerships always feature a true exchange of value, and such an exchange is very much in evidence in this collaboration.”
The agreement calls for the two sides to work together in these areas:
• Share best-business practices in clusters management and foster competitiveness of their respective industrial ecosystems.
• Establish a link between their current and future Internet platforms.
• Disseminate information on activities, events, business opportunities and more to members of their industry via newsletters and websites of each organization when possible.
• Encourage their members to participate in the activities of the other organization.
• Cooperate in the implementation of collaborative projects between the organizations and between their members.
• Continue the exchange of information to enhance development opportunities in industry on both sides of the border and improve the flow of trade between the economic areas.
• Jointly develop and promote a successful and growing bi-national cluster centered in Quebec and New York.
Douglas led about 30 people who attended the conference on a tour of Plattsburgh area transportation equipment companies this week, including Bombardier Transportation, Nova Bus/Prevost and SpencerARL.
He and Dufour, president of Merkur in Quebec, spoke with reporters about the agreement before the tour of Bombardier.
Dufour said collaboration with the Plattsburgh group was a natural fit for his members as they look for ways to compete in an increasingly global market.
The Quebec group is well established, he said, and Plattsburgh is a great place to continue to develop that cluster and provide the Quebec members opportunities to locate in the United States.
“We are looking for that kind of partnership,” Dufour said. “The U.S. market is a really interesting market for our members.”
Many of the Quebec cluster’s members have ties as suppliers to Bombardier and Volvo (including Nova Bus/Prevost) operations in Quebec.
If those companies can bring those suppliers to the Plattsburgh area, it is another competitive advantage to their opeartions in the United States, he said.
Douglas said that while this agreement is focused on ground transportation equipment, the Plattsburgh cluster also aims to develop the region as a spot for aerospace equipment and technology.
That would also be a natural tie-in with the heavy presence of that industry in the Montreal area, he said.