MONTREAL, Oct. 27, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - In the presence of Vermont Governor, Peter Shumlin and Quebec Premier, Philippe Couillard, Françoise Bertrand, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), and Tom Torti, president and CEO of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont-Quebec Enterprise Initiative (LCRCC-VQEI) today signed a collaboration agreement. The signing ceremony was attended by several key figures from the Quebec and Vermont business communities, and the agreement concluded as part of the FCCQ Trade Corridors.
This agreement, which follows the March 2015 launch of the COREX program, an FCCQ initiative aimed at facilitating and encouraging trade between Quebec and the northeastern United States, focuses on various major economic development areas in Quebec and Vermont. These include advanced manufacturing, R&D and innovation, value-added agriculture, biosciences, energy, environmental and green technologies, information technologies and software development.
"Trade with Vermont amounted to almost $4.8 million last year, and grew by 37% from 2010 to 2014. We are proud to contribute to increasing and consolidating the volume of commercial activity with Vermont, which remains an important trade partner," said Ms. Bertrand, following the signing of the agreement. It should be also be noted that the value of Quebec's exports to the United States in 2014 represented almost $53 million.
"For the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber, ratification of this agreement is directly aligned with our desire to form partnerships that will stimulate the local and regional economy, and to develop and bolster the ties between our respective business communities," added Mr. Torti.
Although it accounts for only 4% of New England's population, Vermont is ranked eighth on the US entrepreneurial activity index, according to the Kauffman Foundation. Quebec is also by far Vermont's largest international trade partner. "Today's signing of the cooperation agreement between the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce/Vermont Quebec Enterprise Initiative and the FCCQ further strengthens opportunities for businesses on both sides of the border. Agreements such as this one set the stage for future collaboration and will enhance business-to-business partnerships," said M. Shumlin.
"Vermont is a natural ally for Québec and its businesses. We have enjoyed a solid relationship for many years, built on our economic, geographic, political and social similarities. Our relations continue to evolve, generating prosperity through new initiatives. I am convinced that this agreement will be a catalyst for new, unique forms of collaboration between businesses in Québec and Vermont", said Premier Philippe Couillard.
The FCCQ's Trade Corridors are part of an extensive north-south economic cooperation movement involving regions along both sides of the Canadian and US border. They were created out of a deep conviction that joint initiatives between the business community and governments are among the most effective solutions for the numerous challenges associated with the globalization of markets and border security.
Launched in 2015, the COREX program provides support for Quebec business leaders and entrepreneurs in developing their export markets and creating a network of business partners south of the border.
About the FCCQ's COREX program
The program aims to:
- Facilitate and promote trade between Quebec and the seven northeastern US states; in particular, by making the FCCQ's extensive network accessible to businesses on both sides of the border
- Promote and encourage local businesses to export their goods and services
- Contribute to creating new exporters and to increasing the volume of sales from existing exporters
- Help companies better target their export markets in order to grow their business
About the FCCQ
With its broad 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 in all sectors of the Quebec economy. As the largest network of business people and businesses in the province, the FCCQ is both a federation of chambers of commerce and a provincial chamber of commerce. Whether chambers of commerce or companies, its members all pursue the same goal: promoting an innovative and competitive business environment.
About the LCRCC-VQEI
The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Vermont. Its mission is to advocate for a thriving private sector economy for the benefit of its members; their employees and our communities. The Vermont Quebec Enterprise Initiative is a statewide program operated by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. Its goal is to provide business opportunities for Quebec companies in Vermont and for Vermont companies looking to engage the Quebec market.
SOURCE Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
For further information: INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS: Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec: Marilyne Marcoux, conseillère aux communications, Tel.: 514 844-9571, ext. 3227, Cell : 514 647-4745, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont-Québec Enterprise Initiative: Marla Woulf, coordinator, Tel.: 802 863-3489, ext. 234, email@example.com; Premier's Office: Harold Fortin, Prime Minister's Spokesperson, Communication Director, Tel: 418 643-5321