Governor Holcomb strengthens infrastructure, business relationships in Quebec
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and state Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger concluded a three day Canada economic development mission in Quebec March 28, advancing international partnerships in logistics and business.
“As the gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway, Quebec is a critical maritime partner of Indiana,” Holcomb said. “The opportunity to explore increased investment and job opportunities with Quebec businesses and government leaders was the perfect capstone to our first economic development mission to Canada.”
Indiana and Quebec share robust maritime economies and trade connections through Great Lakes/St. Lawrence shipments and are strategically located to serve as key transportation hubs, together accounting for more than 40 percent of the total business revenue generated by the region’s shipping. The governor and the delegation met with key stakeholders tied to this partnership, including:
- Quebec Minister for Maritime Affairs Jean D’Amour, to reinforce each region’s commitment to partnerships across economic development, research and innovation between Indiana and Quebec and specifically through their maritime connections;
- Paul Pathy, Chief Executive Officer of Montreal-based Fednav, which is Canada’s largest dry bulk shipping company and operates roughly half of ocean vessels entering the Great Lakes and calling on Indiana. Fednav is also the parent company of Federal Marine Terminals, which is the general cargo terminal operator at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor and is the Ports of Indiana’s largest customer; and
- Officials from the Port of Montreal, which is the closest deepwater port to Indiana in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway and the last port of call before ocean vessels enter the Seaway locks en route to Indiana from global destinations, serving as a critical exchange point for Indiana shippers and customers.
Holcomb, Schellinger, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper and Vice President Jody Peacock also attended a number of business roundtables to discuss current ties between Indiana and Canada and opportunities to grow investment in both directions, including meetings with the Counseil Des Relations Internationales de Montreal, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering international affairs and closer collaboration between various sectors, two aerospace industry associations and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec, which represents more than 60,000 businesses and 150,000 executives throughout the province.
The governor pitched Indiana as a great place to do business to Canadian executives and met with Government of Canada officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft.