As part of the activities organized to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Québec Government Office in New York, Françoise Bertrand, president and CEO of the Québec Federation of Chambers of Commerce (FCCQ), Garry Douglas, President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State, signed a collaboration agreement binding Québec and New York State.
The agreement was signed in Québec City in the presence of Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Christine St-Pierre, and New York State Senator Betty Little. The agreement was signed following a conference given by Québec’s General Delegate, Jean-Claude Lauzon.
The agreement brings several personalities and dignitaries of the business communities of Québec and New York together and is part of the activities planned for the FCCQ’s trade corridors.
It was signed in the wake of the launch less than a year ago of the COREX Program, an FCCQ initiative aimed at facilitating and fostering commercial trade between Québec and the northeastern United States. It focuses on priority sectors of activity for the economic development of Québec and New York: fluidity at border crossings, transportation equipment and aerospace, advanced manufacturing including nanotechnology, sports, recreation and tourism, as well as energy, environment and green technologies.
“Commercial trade with New York State totalled over $8 billion in 2014 and New York represents Québec’s main commercial partner. It is therefore with pride that we contribute to increasing the volume of commercial activity and consolidating economic trade between Québec and New York State, a partner of choice,” declared FCCQ president and CEO, Françoise Bertrand, following the signing of the agreement. Québec’s exports to the United States totalled close to $53 billion in value in 2014.
“The Province of Québec and New York State have everything they need to succeed economically in the coming years,” stated Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “However, the most important of all ingredients is the spirit of economic partnership that inspires us and the strength of our bi-national business communities’ collaboration in common sectors. This agreement is a direct result of the success of the Québec-New York Corridor Agreement of 2001 between the Québec Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the North Country Chamber of Commerce. We are updating its objectives by identifying new and exciting opportunities for progress and welcoming the Business Council of New York State as a partner in its own right. Always higher and further for Québec and New York State,” concluded Mr. Douglas.
“This agreement will help to ensure that trans-border commerce and development continue to grow and the economies of Québec and New York State benefit from our long-term collaboration,” stated Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State. “The substantial economic advantages of trans-border trade can easily be neglected and that is why it is imperative that the groups represented here today continue to emphasize these advantages, in particular when making representations to key legislators on both sides of the border.”
“I would like to remind you of the great importance for our collective wealth of the collaboration between Québec and the United States, our most important economic partner on the planet. Today we have concrete proof that our chambers of commerce and their members are true motors of this continually evolving historical relationship. I am very satisfied to note that our dynamic organizations are capable of exploring new prospective partnerships with our American counterparts and I am convinced that this agreement will serve as the starting point of several mobilizing projects,” declared Québec Premier Philippe Couillard.
“The signing of this agreement between the Québec Federation of Chambers of Commerce and two of its main partners in New York State consolidates the efforts that we have been making for many years on both sides of the border to further develop our bilateral relations. The Québec government recently opened two new offices in the United States, which is testimony to the importance that we place on our relations with our southern neighbour. Furthermore, the agreement signed today will undeniably complement the means that we are implementing to diversify and nourish our partnerships,” added Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie.
In conclusion, it may be recalled that the FCCQ’s trade corridors are part of a vast north-south economic cooperation movement in which all regions along the Canada-US border are participating. These corridors are the result of the deep conviction that joint business-government initiatives figure amongst the most efficient solutions to the many challenges in terms of market globalization and border security. Launched in 2015, the CODEX Program aims at accompanying Québec business leaders and entrepreneurs in the development of their export markets and the creation of a network of business partners south of the border.
About the FCCQ
With its wide network of more than 140 chambers of commerce and 1,100 corporate members, the FCCQ represents more than 60,000 businesses and 150,000 business people involved in all sectors of the economy throughout Québec. As the largest network of business people and businesses in Québec, the FCCQ strongly supports its members’ interests in matters of public policy, thus promoting an innovative and competitive business environment.
About the North Country Chamber of Commerce
The North County Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren Counties in New York State and southern Québec. With more than 3,200 members, it is the largest business and economic development alliance in northern New York and one of the five largest chambers in the state.
About the Business Council of New York State
The Business Council of New York State is the leading business organization in New York State. Its mission is to serve as an advocate for employers in the state political and policy-making arena, working for a healthier business climate, economic growth, and jobs. Its membership is made up of thousands of member companies, as well as local chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations. Its members collectively employ more than 1.2 million workers in New York State.
About the Québec Government Office in New York
The Québec Government Office in New York is Québec’s primary representation in the United States. The Office promotes the interests of Québec in the following sectors: business, investment, government institutions, education, culture and public affairs. Inaugurated in 1940, the Office serves the Mid Atlantic region, which includes eight states.