Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is headed north of the border, taking Arizona business leaders with him to Canada this week.
The delegation will be in Toronto Tuesday through Thursday. While there, Ducey will deliver a keynote address to the Canadian Club of Toronto. He will also ring the opening bell at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The business delegation will then travel to Montreal to wrap up the trip. Ducey will meet with Canadian business leaders and government officials during his visit. Canada is Arizona’s second biggest trading partner behind Mexico, and Ducey is looking to highlight Arizona’s business climate and lifestyle during the trip.
“We’ve got a lot of Canadian visitors, a lot of Canadian transplants [and] a lot of Canadian investors in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.
About 25,000 Canadians own homes in Arizona according to Consul General of Canada James Villeneuve, who called Arizona and Canada’s relationship a “natural partnership.” Glenn Williamson, Canada’s Honorary Consul for Arizona, helped organize the trip. He said Ducey’s visit will enhance the already strong ties between Arizona and Canada.
“Unlike Mexico, where there’s a lot of fence building going on and rebuilding of the brand relationship, I think, in the case of Canada, the relationship is extraordinarily solid,” Williamson said.
Williamson said 350 Canadian companies are operating in the state of Arizona, employing about 147,000 Arizonans. Ducey said he is hoping to grow Arizona’s business relationship with Canada.
“As a businessman, I was always taught to focus on the customer that you already have, and then expand the amount of business that you do with them,” Ducey said.
Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be joining the governor on the trip this week.
“I would expect that from these meetings with business and political leaders, we’ll be better poised to even do better when it comes to trading with Canada,” Hamer said. “It’s also important for the governor of [Arizona] to go to Canada to make clear that this is a very, very important market.”
It is Ducey’s first trip to Canada since taking office in January 2015.