BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2020) — Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz today joined with government officials from Quebec, Canada to sign a cooperative agreement that jointly promotes trade and innovation, particularly in the life sciences and public health sectors. The agreement strengthens the existing ties between Maryland and Quebec, which have continued to grow as a result of Governor Larry Hogan’s trade mission to Canada in 2017.
“Canada is not only one of Maryland’s largest trading partners, but we also share a commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation, and high-growth industries,” said Governor Hogan. “Over the past three years, we have continued to build on progress made during our trade mission. I am pleased to see this agreement come together, which will enable us to share research and knowledge in life sciences and public health, which is critical as we continue to fight this global pandemic.”
As part of the agreement, which lasts for three years, Maryland and Quebec agree to work together on joint research and development projects; partner on trade and business missions; and host exchange programs for companies in incubators and accelerators within the fields. The agreement also allows for joint efforts to address current public health concerns like COVID-19, as well as the effects of drug use.
“At a time when public health is at the forefront, this important collaboration between the governments of Maryland and Quebec will help us share vital resources and knowledge while battling the pandemic across North America,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We hope this partnership will help grow our shared interests in the life sciences and lead to numerous benefits for residents in each of our regions.”
“Life sciences are essential to the development of our societies, as well as our economies. The current context has exposed this important reality and underlined the importance of sharing our preoccupations, our expertise, and our solutions with partners and allies,” said Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration. “The Québec-Maryland cooperation agreement represents our joint ambition to strategically develop projects and solutions in areas of mutual interest, thus strengthening our trade and innovation relationship. I look forward to working hand in hand with our Maryland partners to maximize the impacts of such an agreement, for the benefits of our respective businesses, institutions, and populations.”
In 2017, Governor Hogan joined then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser for a two-day joint tourism and economic development mission to Canada. Following the joint mission, Governor Hogan went on to Montreal, where he visited a number of Canadian companies and business organizations to promote Maryland as an ideal U.S. location for tourism, trade, and investment.
Canada was Maryland’s second-largest trading partner in 2019, with $1.65 billion in goods exported. Nearly $1 billion in goods are traded each year between Quebec and Maryland. More than 200,000 jobs in Maryland depend on trade and investment with Canada, with over 130 Canadian-owned companies operating in the state that contribute $590 million to the economy.