Georgia hopes to boost economic partnership with Canada - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia hopes to boost economic partnership with Canada

Updated:

From the Governor's Office 

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue will lead Georgia's delegation to the third annual Southeastern U.S.-Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP) trade conference, starting today in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Eleven Georgia companies interested in expanding international business opportunities with Canada are attending the conference.  Governor Perdue is scheduled to give remarks to conference participants during the conference opening ceremony.

"The annual SEUS-CP trade conference brings immeasurable value to participating Georgia companies and the seven Canadian Provinces in establishing and broadening relationships between our two regions. It also connects Georgia companies with business opportunities in other southeastern states," said Governor Perdue.

During this annual conference, six southeastern U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces come together to present opportunities for businesses to enhance commercial exchanges, promote two-way investment and encourage technological and scientific exchanges.

 Governor Perdue will be joined by three other governors from the Southeast, including Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, as well as three Canadian premiers, including Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier Jean Charest of Quebec and Premier Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island.

In addition to the state and provincial leaders this annual event attracts, participating companies will take part in one-on-one business matchmaking appointments. Georgia companies will be able to speak with procurement officials from these organizations or to discuss opportunities of mutual interest.

"Canada and its provinces are among Georgia's top investors, so we make great efforts to nurture and maximize networking and relationship-building opportunities that benefit Georgia businesses, enterprises in the other Southeastern member states, and the Canadian Provinces," said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "Through the SEUS-CP conference, we hope to underscore how Georgia's progressive business environment brings value to those participating companies and enhances potential business opportunities with the Canadian Provinces."

Canadian-owned companies in Georgia already support 211,750 jobs in the state.  Canada is Georgia's leading export destination with 2009 exports totaling $4.1 billion. Top exports include machinery, transportation equipment, textiles, aircraft, plastic and paper goods. Georgia imports from Canada totaled $3.8 billion in 2009.

The state's top Canadian imports include mineral fuel and oil, aircraft, machinery, ores, salt, sulfur, earth and stone, and essential oils. The state of Georgia has had representation in Canada since 1981, and Atlanta is home both to a Canadian Consulate General and a Quebec Trade & Investment Office.

The conference will attract companies and organizations from SEUS-CP member states Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as member provinces Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

Michael Ducker, international executive vice president of Memphis-based FedEx Express, will be the keynote speaker during the conference. A town hall session featuring the heads of delegations will be moderated by Shepard Smith of Fox News.

Georgia speakers include Dr. Louis J. Circeo, principal research scientist and director of plasma research in the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Savannah's D. Paul Graham, president and CEO of Graham Capital Partners, LLC, will moderate the panel on advanced manufacturing.

For additional SEUS-CP conference information, visit www.seuscp.org.

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