Four American cities are on the agenda for the mission to the United States that Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, undertook on June 15. Aligned with the Québec Government’s U.S. Strategy, the mission is aimed at promoting Québec as an economic partner. The Minister’s first stop is Des Moines, Iowa, where he will take part in the Leadership Meeting held to coincide with the sixth conference of North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO).
The NASCO conference attracts nearly 250 specialists and decision makers from the economic development, logistics and transportation sectors. It is the only forum in North America that brings together representatives of Canadian, U.S. and Mexican federated states. “Our exports are fundamental to ensuring Québec’s economic prosperity. We must continue our dialogue to increase the development of trilateral relations and foster the integration of our three markets. Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, trade between Québec and Mexico has risen by 500%, totalling $2.3B in 2009. Fifty percent of foreign companies in Québec are American and account for 200,000 jobs. We need to promote open markets among U.S. and Mexican representatives to ensure the prosperity of our companies and the competitiveness of our economies,” said Minister Arcand.
The Leadership Meeting held in tandem with the conference will provide an opportunity for the Minister to speak with the President of NASCO and heads of delegations and representatives from the business sector. “This conference will enable us to promote our point of view in seeking solutions for dealing with our common challenges such as transportation and security efficiency, and sustainable development,” noted the Minister.
NASCO is held alternately in Mexico, the United States and Canada. Each year, plenary sessions focus on various topics of interest to the three countries, including major North American trade corridors, the challenges resulting from globalization, intermodal transportation, the economy, technological innovations, territorial safety and the environment. In June, 2009, NASCO and the Leadership Meeting took place in Québec City.
Boston, Washington and New York
The Minister will continue his mission in the United States in order to present the Québec Government’s U.S. Strategy and three priority issues: energy, the high-speed train and open markets. He will promote Québec and its fields of expertise to U.S. decision makers with whom he will be meeting in Boston (June 17-18), Washington (June 21-22) and New York (June 23-24).
In related news, the Government of Québec has announced that it will be represented by Raymond Chrétien, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, during discussions surrounding the development of rail transportation corridors between Montréal and New York City and Montréal and Boston.
Québec Government’s U.S. Strategy