TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb have released a joint memorandum of understanding to support trade that includes commitments to strengthening co-operation in infrastructure and workforce development.
The joint statement released following their recent meeting in Toronto said, “Today, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will enable Ontario and Indiana to work together even more closely to build on our economic growth, create a more competitive business climate, foster collaboration in research and technology, and create the good jobs that will help our people succeed in a rapidly changing economy.”
Ontario is Indiana’s top Canadian export customer, a media release noted, and in 2017 two-way trade between the two regions totalled more than $20 billion.
Nearly 190,000 Indiana jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada, with more than 110 Ontario-owned corporations and small businesses operating in the state, employing approximately 14,000 Indiana residents.
“The MOU we signed today will strengthen the economic relationship between Ontario and Indiana through greater collaboration and shared best practices across economic development and investment, workforce development, academics, infrastructure, regulatory modernization, life sciences, information and communications technologies, advanced manufacturing and materials, automotive, aerospace and aviation, and agriculture and agriculture technology,” the joint statement said.
Among the areas of co-operation identified, the memorandum noted the importance of infrastructure, with the province and state encouraged to “invest in state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure, which creates a more competitive operating environment for private sector companies in both Indiana and Ontario and attracts new investment.”
As for workforce development, the MOU stated, “This area of co-operation supports the sharing of best practices to meet the challenges of creating and training a workforce to meet high-demand, high-wage job growth created by innovation across all sectors.
“The parties will work together to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships and alliances between private sector companies, which will strengthen their capabilities to compete in international markets with a trained and ready workforce.”