Since it was officially launched by Premier Philippe Couillard in June 2015, the Québec Maritime Strategy has been an impressive driver of job creation, investment and economic growth in Québec. Projects undertaken in the first year of the Maritime Strategy already account for more than 1.5 G$ in investment, bringing tangible economic benefits to several regions of Québec.
Rick Heimann, Directeur, Port de Burns Harbor, Eric Marquis, Délégué du Québec au Midwest, Georges Farrah, Secrétaire aux Affaires maritimes, Victor Smith, Secrétaire au Commerce de l’Indiana. Jody Peacock, Vice-Président, Ports of Indiana
The Maritime Strategy has also helped consolidating business and institutional ties with our partners from the Great Lakes region in 2016. Under the auspices of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers (CGLSLGP), the 8 states and two provinces which constitute this major economic region (3rd largest economy in the world in terms of GDP) have built on the Québec Maritime Strategy and collaborated on developing a more inclusive regional approach to the maritime economy. In June 2016, Michigan Governor and CGLSLGP Chair, Rick Snyder, unveiled the first regional Maritime Strategy for the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence.
The Regional Maritime Strategy calls for strategic investments in critical maritime infrastructure (such as the Soo Locks) and regulatory reforms that together will enhance the global economic competitiveness of our region by leveraging our maritime and logistical assets. Both the Québec and Regional maritime strategies were developed in close partnership with the key stakeholders from the maritime industry in both countries. Implementation of the Regional Maritime Strategy will take place over the next decade, and will be coordinated by a Regional Maritime Entity co-chaired by Québec and the State of Indiana.
From a bilateral standpoint, the Québec-Indiana Maritime partnership announced in September 2015 by International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre has made significant progress. Several trade missions have taken place during the year, most notably a trade mission to Québec led by Indiana Commerce Secretary Victor Smith (October 2016). In November 2016, our Secretary for Maritime Affairs Georges Farrah, representatives for the Trois-Rivières Port Authority, and I participated in the Indiana Logistics Summit. More than 500 participants got to learn more about the Québec Maritime Strategy and how it could be beneficial not only to Québec but to Indiana’s economy as well. Our partnership with Ports of Indiana has proved to be very productive and several new initiatives should take place in 2017, so stay tuned!