Governor Phil Scott discusses a business trip to Montreal

Vermont Governor Phil Scott and members of his administration were in Montreal last week for the International Forum on Aviation Innovation and meeting with government and business leaders. During a press briefing on Tuesday, Scott explained why the trip was so important to the country and its economy.

The Republican Governor of Vermont made his eighth official trip to Canada on September 6-7 on a business mission to meet with Canadian corporate officials and political leaders.

Scott noted that while many states have official offices in Washington, D.C., Vermont does not, having opted instead to open an office in Montreal last year.

Canada, and Quebec in particular, is important to us. We believe our office in Montreal will start more conversations, open more doors, and lead to more opportunities to build on the Quebec and Vermont relationship. With $5 billion in trade, Quebec is Vermont’s largest international trading partner, and we are Quebec City’s second largest economic partner in New England. But our connection goes beyond just commerce because we build things together, too. About half of all trade with Canada is between related companies. This also creates job opportunities. And let’s not forget that tourism also plays an important role.”

Agency for Commerce and Community Development Secretary of Commerce Lindsey Correll said the Innovation Forum and the Synchronized Business Mission were an opportunity to connect in person with business leaders after two years of virtual interactions due to the pandemic.

“There is a lot of potential to expand economic opportunity between Vermont and Canada. Our proximity to the border and ease of access to Montreal remain great assets and this access will only become easier because Autoroute 35, which replaces the old secondary road, is designed with plans to intersection directly with I-89. Overall, we feel the trip has been an incredible success and we feel this was a great opportunity by making ourselves more accessible to government officials and businesses in Canada.”

Governor Scott and Vermont Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein have acknowledged that there is stiff competition with other states to attract Canadian companies.

“I met one company and they’re looking at Oklahoma and that’s because of the tax benefits and a lot of other benefits as well. But they love Vermont and really appreciate the culture and the proximity and proximity as much as the driving. So, it’s tough.”

Goldstein: “That’s why we can’t take anything for granted. We also want these Canadian companies to know that we have incentive programs. And the Governor being there is really important.”

Canada is Vermont’s largest trading partner, and according to Commissioner Goldstein, Vermont exported $830 million in 2021, and imported $2.2 billion in goods from Canada.

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