Energy Key to Indiana-Canada Relationship

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George says Canada is Indiana's "biggest customer." George says Canada is Indiana's "biggest customer."

The consul general of Canada says energy will play a growing role in country's relationship with Indiana. Douglas George is in Indianapolis for the Indiana Conference on Energy Management. He says Canada, as Indiana's largest energy supplier, provides heavy crude oil to the BP Whiting Refinery, which was retrofitted to take Canadian oil. George says the relationship will likely grow on green technology and alternative sources of energy.

George says that is important to the state, saying 44,000 Hoosier jobs are dependent on or associated with clean energy. He says that is the fastest-growing segment of the energy sector.

Canada is Indiana's biggest customer. George says around one-third of Indiana's exports go to Canada, including auto parts, automobiles and medical technology. However, the relationship isn't just about buying and selling. "We make things together," says George. "We sell you parts that go into the cars that come back to Canada."

George estimates 159,000 jobs in Indiana depend on trade and investment with Canada, and more than 160 Canadian companies invest in the state. Last month, Canada-based Weston Foods announced it had chosen Hendricks County for its new U.S. headquarters. At the time, the company detailed plans to pump more than $1.6 million into renovations to its Maplehurst Bakeries LLC facility in Brownsburg. On the flip side, in March, Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha Capital invested in Canada-based social marketing platform CrowdRiff, which reported 400 percent customer growth last year.

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