In an effort to bring more investment and jobs to Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal is traveling to Canada this weekend. Gov. Deal and a Georgia delegation of business and government leaders will attend the Southeastern U.S. - Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP) trade conference, June 12-14 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The fourth annual SEUS-CP conference is being hosted by New Brunswick's Premier David Alward and the state of Mississippi. Georgia hosted the inaugural conference in Savannah in 2008.
"As the business capital of the Southeast, Georgia constantly seeks to identify ways in which we can enhance our competitive assets and continue to innovate. It is our aim to be regarded as the go-to location for business in the Southeast and the United States," said Deal. "Canada is our top trade partner and we look forward to strengthening this important business alliance. Our participation in this conference will not only help us build upon Georgia's longstanding relationship with Canada, but also take further steps to heighten our state's presence as a global hub for business."
During this annual conference, six southeastern U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces come together to discover opportunities for businesses to enhance commercial exchanges, promote two-way investment and encourage technological and scientific innovation.
The conference will host more than 300 U.S. and Canadian business and government leaders. This year's theme, "Innovate-Connect-Compete," will target industries including advanced manufacturing, information and communication technologies and clean tech industrial sectors.
Georgia companies attending the conference include RCF Technologies (Vidalia), Georgia Hydraulics International (Austell) and Market Access International (Smyrna). The Georgia delegation also includes representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, representatives from Canada's Atlanta-based consular and trade entities and economic development organizations including Carroll Tomorrow, Gainesville-Hall County Chamber and Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Companies will take part in one-on-one business matchmaking appointments. The conference will also include forums and an innovation showcase highlighting companies and programs in Canada.
Government leaders, companies and organizations will be present 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. Andrea Feunekes, co-founder and co-CEO of New Brunswick-based Remsoft, will co-chair the SEUS-CP Business Conference along with Stephen D. Johnston, CEO of SmartSynch Inc., a Jackson, Miss.-based smartgrid technology company.
Canada is Georgia's leading export market destination, making up 17.3 percent of the state's exports with $4.9 billion in 2010. Georgia is Canada's top source for kaolin, acrylic polymers, poultry and textile floor coverings. Georgia's imports from Canada totaled $3.6 billion in 2010, ranking Canada as Georgia's fourth largest importing nation. Canadian-affiliated companies in Georgia employ close to 9,000 Georgians. The state of Georgia has had representation in Canada since 1981 through Georgia's Canada office in Toronto and Atlanta is home to the region's Canadian Consulate General and a Quebec Trade and Investment Office.