Vermont working to strengthen business ties with Canada

By Brent Addleman | The Center Square

More than 50 Canadian businesses seeking to do business in Vermont were in Montpelier this week.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development hosted a delegation of Montreal-area businesses, featuring industry associations and entrepreneur, as part of the state’s trade mission with its neighbor to the north.

“Strengthening Vermont’s economy remains one of my administration’s top priorities, and helping businesses create and retain jobs in Vermont is key to this work,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a release. “That is why it’s so important for us to connect with more companies north of the border who we know have an interest in establishing a footprint in the United States and identify opportunities for them to make Vermont their U.S. home.”

The trade mission, its first since 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit which resulted in the border being closed, is an effort for the state’s largest trade partner and foreign direct investment clients to increase trade between Vermont and Canada, according to the release.

Two Canadian companies, according to the release, attended the event to further expand discussions about expanding into Vermont. Canadian companies attending the event included those in advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, aerospace, financial services and agriculture. Those companies were able to connect with partners, investors and economic development groups.

“We are honored today to visit our friends from Vermont,” Michel Belval said in the release. He’s president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Quebec. “The relationship between Quebec and Vermont is more than business; visiting Vermont is like going to see our neighbors or family. This event allows us to continue to build our partnership.”

The two entities, according to the release, perform more than 5$ billion in trade each year. Vermont is Quebec’s second-biggest trade partner in New England. In addition, Canadian-owned businesses employed more than 3,000 Vermonters through 73 businesses last year.

The event, according to the release, was funded through a grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Image courtesy of Public domain