NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON
During trade mission to Canada, Gov. Nixon announces $3.2 billion trade agreement with Québec
State of Missouri signs agreement to increase exports to Canadian province by 15 percent over the next four years
TORONTO – Leading a trade mission to Canada this week, Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that the State of Missouri has signed an agreement with Québec, the second most populous province, to sell $3.2 billion in Missouri goods and products over the next four years. The agreement, signed by Québec’s Minister of Industrial Policy, Mrs. Élaine Zakaïb, and Missouri’s Director of Economic Development, Mike Downing, would increase Missouri’s exports by 15 percent by 2018.
“Selling more Missouri goods abroad creates more Missouri jobs back home,” Gov. Nixon said. “That is why I am pleased to report that our trade mission to Canada has produced some very tangible results. Canada is our largest trading partner, and this $3.2 billion agreement with Québec will solidify this relationship while strengthening Missouri’s economy for years to come.”
The agreement calls for the state and the province to expand bilateral trade and investments in several areas, including aerospace, agricultural products, advanced manufacturing and life science products.
Canada is Missouri’s largest export market, purchasing nearly $4 billion in Missouri goods last year, led by the provinces of Ontario ($2.6 billion) and Québec ($700 million). In meetings with business and governmental leaders in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, the Governor is seeking to build on this solid foundation by identifying new opportunities to sell more Missouri products to Canada, and expand investments by Canadian companies in Missouri.
Yesterday, the delegation travelled to Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, where Gov. Nixon addressed members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa and met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and the Minister of Trade, Ed Fast.
Gov. Nixon arrived in Toronto this morning where he is scheduled to meet with leading Canadian companies including Magna International and BMO Financial, and deliver remarks to the American Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. Tomorrow the Governor will meet with Ontario’s Prime Minister, Kathleen Wynne, and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Eric Hoskins.
Joining Gov. Nixon on the delegation are: First Lady Georganne Nixon; Mike Downing, Director, Department of Economic Development; and Richard Fordyce, Director, Department of Agriculture. The Missouri delegation will also include representatives of Missouri businesses including Custom Metalcraft of Springfield; Essex Industries of St. Louis; Advantage Capital Partners; and Kent Precision Foods Group, Inc. of St. Louis.
Missouri’s top exports to Canada in 2013 were transportation equipment ($1.5 billion); chemicals ($624 million); machinery ($438 million); and food products ($352 million).
The delegation will return to Missouri on Thursday, March 6. Travel costs for Gov. and Mrs. Nixon will be covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic growth in Missouri; state taxpayer funds will not be used.
Increasing exports has been a central focus of Gov. Nixon’s efforts to create jobs and grow Missouri’s economy. Since the Governor’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth recommended developing a “Best in Class” foreign trade initiative, Gov. Nixon has led successful trade missions to China, Brazil, Korea, Europe and the Republic of China (Taiwan), closing agreements to sell a total of $6.5 billion in Missouri goods. Last year, Gov. Nixon launched Export Missouri to help more Missouri companies, and especially small businesses, find new customers and sell their products in overseas markets.
For more information about expanding export opportunities for Missouri businesses, visit www.mo.gov
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