New York and Ontario Agree to Build Stronger Regional Economic Ties

Archived Release

New York and Ontario Agree to Build Stronger Regional Economic Ties

TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Ontario and New York have ended their two-day Economic Summit by agreeing to promote economic opportunities through increased partnerships, dialogue and cooperation.
"Southern Ontario and Western New York share more than just a common border," Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade Robert Runciman said. "We share common economic interests and a vibrant, healthy trading partnership. We want to work together with all partners in the public and private sectors to create more opportunities for jobs, investment and growth on both sides of the border."
The Summit, a forum to explore business and trade opportunities took place June 25 and 26, 2001 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.
On June 25th, prior to the official start of the Summit, Ontario announced the launch of the planning phase for a new mid-peninsula highway corridor across the Niagara Region. The mid-peninsula corridor is a key transportation route that will support the economic vitality of Southern Ontario and Western New York.
At the Summit, Ontario Premier Mike Harris and New York Governor George Pataki signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation. The agreement will promote consultations on transportation infrastructure improvements and border crossings; trade development and business partnership opportunities; tourism development; and technology and workforce development exchanges.
Other key Summit highlights include:

- The launch by John Mayberry, President of Dofasco (of Hamilton), and
Robert E. Rich Jr. (of Buffalo) of a Niagara Bi-National Region
Economic Roundtable, through which the private sector, Niagara and
Halton regions, the City of Hamilton and neighboring New York counties
will develop an economic vision and action plan.

- The establishment of a Southern Ontario/Western New York Tourism
Steering committee to identify and monitor key strategic international
tourism initiatives, provide ongoing communication to stakeholders, and
coordinate future bi-national forums.

- The establishment of a Bi-National Education Partnership Fund to
support scholarships, bursaries and learning opportunities for students
at Niagara College in Ontario and Niagara University in New York State.

- Working sessions on tourism development, transportation and trade
corridors, partnership opportunities in bio-technology and information
technology, photonics and micro-electronics, marketing the bi-national
region, and on practical advice for doing business in Ontario and New
York.

Minister Runciman and Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano will develop a report on the Summit's proceedings, for release later this summer. The report will highlight the Summit's key findings and identify further areas where Ontario and New York can undertake consultations and cooperative efforts on economic issues.

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For further information: Hal Vincent, Minister's Office, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, (416) 325-8779; Janet Goldhar, Communications Branch, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, (416) 325-0794