Canadian Manufacturing

Ont. and Illinois sign MOU to boost economy and facilitate trade

by CM Staff   

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The new MOU promotes economic cooperation between the two jurisdictions by supporting regular business missions, sharing market information and promoting investments in both regions.

TORONTO — Ontario and Illinois finalized a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote increased trade, attract investment and foster ongoing collaboration across key sectors such as automotive, agriculture, energy and advanced manufacturing.

The MOU was signed by Premier Doug Ford and J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, following a meeting in Toronto.

“Strengthening our ties with important trading partners like Illinois is part of our plan to rebuild Ontario’s economy,” said Premier Ford. “As we attract game-changing investments in our economy, it has never been more important for us to develop and deepen our relationships with other like-minded jurisdictions. This agreement, along with the others we’ve signed with U.S. states, is going to help boost trade, attract investments and create better jobs with bigger paycheques on both sides of the border.”

“Building on our firm trade relationship and shared value set, this Memorandum of Understanding is an opportunity to further solidify the economic and cultural bond between Illinois and Ontario,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Deepening those ties will help each of our respective governments create jobs and opportunity for our people, drive long-term growth and meet the challenges of the coming years.”

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Ontario and Illinois have a close trading relationship, with total trade valued at over $29 billion (CAD) in 2023. Ontario is Illinois’ second-largest export market and Illinois is Ontario’s fourth-largest export market in the U.S.

The new MOU promotes economic cooperation between the two jurisdictions by supporting regular business missions, sharing market information and promoting investment. Ontario and Illinois will also explore opportunities for cooperation on emerging technologies that are transforming industries, including sharing best practices on skills training to prepare workers for in-demand and technology intensive jobs.

In addition, both jurisdictions will establish a Procurement Cooperation Council as a forum for sharing information on procurement policies and to advance opportunities for suppliers in each jurisdiction.

“With supply chains inter-linked across North America, it’s more important than ever for Ontario and Illinois to partner on our shared economic goals to remain globally competitive,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “The MOU identifies tangible areas where we can work together to our mutual advantage. These include fostering greater two-way trade and investment, sharing best practices to boost workforce skills and expanding academic cooperation – all avenues to greater prosperity on both sides of the border.”

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