Quebec and Indiana announced on Tuesday a partnership to increase the mutual development benefits of shipping in the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence System.
The agreement acknowledges the importance of short-sea shipping – the movement of maritime cargo without crossing a sea or ocean – for these North American locales.
Quebec is a French speaking province in the east of Canada and Indiana is Midwestern state of the US. They share no land border and are separated by Ontario in Canada and Michigan in the US. But they are connected by the St Lawrence Seaway and Indiana does border Lake Michigan.
Economic assessments put the value of maritime transportation business in the Great Lakes and St Lawrence region at around $34bn.
One of the new partners’ first actions under the arrangement will be to study ways to enhance shipping routes between the two territories.
The deal was jointly announced by Christine St-Pierre, whose title is Minister of International Relations and Francophonie, and Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Susan Ellspermann. St-Pierre pointed out the arrangement recognises the way things are already trending as Quebec’s trade with the Midwest has grown 30% in just five years.
Collaboration on shipping could also be beneficial environmentally by reducing use of road and rail routes for deliveries.
And both parties hope their partnership can grow in future, adding other states or provinces from the Great Lakes and St Lawrence region.