Governors and business leaders from the Southeastern U.S. are in Raleigh today to talk trade and investment opportunities with leaders from Canada.
Despite what you hear about China and Germany – Canada is North Carolina’s number one trading partner with one quarter of all the state’s exports going to that country.
Jean Davis is Director of International Trade for the state Commerce Department.
“You know Canada is such a strong trading partner, that it is often times where we start with our companies," said Davis.
And once businesses break into the Canadian market – the world’s the limit.
Davis says there will be a lot of business to business matchmaking going on.
"For example we have Mississippi companies here meeting with North Carolina companies trying to work on a project in Canada together," said Davis. "So it's really a multilateral effort to get our southern companies together, get out Canadian partners together, mix it up and get some business going."
Dave Olsen is Chief Operating Officer of PNC Financial Services in Canada. PNC recently broke into the southern market but is already seeing advantages to its global partnerships.
“Those who are in a business to business environment, where they do business with other companies, is that a lot of their current clients are already here," said Olsen.
Olsen says the advantages to doing business in Canada are endless and include common language and financial culture.
Representatives from six states and seven provinces are expected to attend SEUS CP, the Southeastern U.S. Canadian Provinces Alliance conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.