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Atlanta Consul General Steve Brereton
Atlanta Consul General Steve Brereton

Atlanta Consul General discusses the SEUS-CP Relationship

Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network
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At the recent Southeastern-Canadian Provinces (SEUS-CP) Alliance Conference that was held in Fredericton, New Brunswick,  most delegates felt that leveraging the alliance for economic prosperity and job growth for all regions was a priority. Government, business and agency representatives from seven Canadian Provinces included from Manitoba east and six US States, including North & South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama came together for three days.

After the conference, I had a chance to speak with the Atlanta Consul General Steve Brereton. Consul Brereton has held this post in Atlanta for two years and this was his second conference that he's attended after last year's event in Biloxi, Miss. The SEUS-CP Alliance is in its fourth year. The Conference provides a great opportunity for political leaders and business representatives to exchange ideas and develop partnerships. "This year, the Conference focused on three core areas: advanced manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT) and green technologies. A key priority was the business-to-business meetings. While it doesn't mean companies are signing contracts at the Conference, they are finding potential synergies that lead to further discussions," Brereton stated.

It's also an opportunity to further political relations among leaders. "This year was unique, from the perspective that four of the six US States had new Governors. It does create an opportunity to foster discussions and understand more about the Canadian relationship," Brereton shares.

"If there is one area in which the US may not appreciate Canada's impact, it may be in the area of energy. Not all state representatives are aware of the depth of our countries' energy partnership, but also all the economic links tied to energy. There are a number of US companies who supply equipment and technology solutions to the Alberta Oil Sands as one example," Brereton comments.

Next year's Conference will take place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Brereton expects that topically, the Conference will focus on advanced manufacturing and ICT within the automotive sector. It's the home of BMW and Canadian auto supplier Magna International who has a strong presence in the region as well.

While the SEUS-CP Conference creates opportunities and strengthens International Trade relationships, Brereton also sees that this Conference also helps connect companies interprovincially. With both formal and informal discussions happening, it's not uncommon to find out more about the strengths of companies in their own region.

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