Indiana Lt.-Gov. Suzanne Crouch met in Winnipeg with Deputy Premier Heather Stefanson, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen to discuss the shared interest of both jurisdictions in building on the strong Canada–U.S. trade and investment partnership, fostering economic growth, and encouraging stronger business and research connections.
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The Indiana and Manitoba Departments of Agriculture also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to foster co-operation in key areas including agricultural research, trade, investment and youth leadership.
“Indiana and Manitoba share common priorities and strengths in the agricultural sector that provide excellent opportunities for more collaboration and information sharing,” said Eichler.
The agricultural sector has been a key driver of trade and economic growth in both Manitoba and Indiana. Through the MOU, the two regions will encourage stronger partnerships between researchers, innovation leaders, businesses and young farmers, and will share information and best practices to help each jurisdiction make the most of new opportunities to drive growth and innovation in agriculture and related sectors.
“This agreement lays the groundwork to establishing a long-term co-operative relationship between Indiana and Manitoba,” Crouch said. “We look forward to the abundant opportunities this new partnership affords, especially in the area of agricultural economic development, and are excited about what the future holds for our two economies."
Manitoba’s ministers also discussed the broader Manitoba–Indiana trade relationship, which encompassed two-way trade worth $1.1 billion in 2017, an increase of almost 36 per cent since 2013. Indiana is Manitoba’s seventh-largest trading partner among U.S. states, and 189,800 jobs in Indiana depend on trade and investment with Canada.
“Manitoba is committed to being the most improved province in Canada, and we will do that by finding ways to help our producers and companies grow, build, innovate, and compete in the global market,” said Stefanson.
“In this period of rapid economic change, it is critical for provinces and states to build on the remarkable success of North American economic partnership by working together and by making sure our citizens realize the benefits of open trade.”
Crouch is accompanied to Manitoba by a 20-member delegation including representatives from Indiana companies, agricultural organizations, universities and state officials.
The delegation will be participating in business events with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the Business Council of Manitoba, as well as focused visits and meetings with leading Manitoba agricultural facilities including the Food Development Centre, the University of Manitoba, the Canadian International Grain Institute, and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre. ■