Trade groups in Quebec and New York have inked a collaboration agreement intended to renew their commitment to work together.
Signed by Quebec Federation of Chambers President and CEO Françoise Bertrand, North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas and Business Council of New York State President and CEO Heather Briccetti, it focuses on priority sectors of activity for the economic development of Quebec and New York.
• Fluidity at border crossings.
• Transportation equipment and aerospace.
• Advanced manufacturing, including nanotechnology, sports, recreation and tourism.
• Energy, environment and green technologies.
Bertrand said New York represents Quebec’s main commercial partner. The province’s commercial trade with New York state totaled over $8 billion in 2014, she said.
“It is therefore with pride that we contribute to increasing the volume of commercial activity and consolidating economic trade between Quebec and New York state, a partner of choice,” she said in a press release.
Douglas said the province of Quebec and New York state have everything they need to succeed economically in the coming years.
“However, the most important of all ingredients is the spirit of economic partnership that inspires us and the strength of our bi-national business communities’ collaboration in common sectors,” he said in a statement.
“This agreement is a direct result of the success of the Quebec-New York Corridor Agreement of 2001 between the Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the North Country Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
“We are updating its objectives by identifying new and exciting opportunities for progress and welcoming the Business Council of New York state as a partner in its own right.”
Briccetti said the agreement will help to ensure that transborder commerce and development continue to grow and that the economies of Quebec and New York state benefit from long-term collaboration.
“The substantial economic advantages of transborder trade can easily be neglected, and that is why it is imperative that the groups represented … continue to emphasize these advantages, in particular when making representations to key legislators on both sides of the border,” she said.
Also in attendance at the signing were Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie Christine St-Pierre and New York State Sen. Betty Little.
The agreement was signed following a conference given by Quebec General Delegate Jean-Claude Lauzon.
Under the new agreement, the signatories or their representatives agree to meet at least twice a year: once in both Quebec and New York.
They further agree to hold at least one annual event, such as a conference, sector meeting or webinar.
The parties will organize the events in cooperation with other economic partners and, when appropriate, with government representatives.
They also agreed to enhance links and communications, including website links such as the COREX business-to-business networking platform launched in 2015.