The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor welcomed two big names this week. Québec Associate Secretary General of Maritime Affairs Georges Farrah and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith toured the port to discuss growing regional economies through maritime strategies.
The Ports of Indiana says the visit was part of a partnership established last year between the Province of Québec and the State of Indiana to boost collaboration in shipping and maritime economic development. The province is in the midst of a $9 billion plan to develop its maritime infrastructure and create 10,000 jobs within five years.
"Indiana and Québec have robust maritime economies and are strategically located to serve as key transportation hubs," said Farrah. "We also share a rich heritage for waterborne trade between our jurisdictions and recognize the potential advantages that maritime shipping creates for our economy, our transportation systems and our environment."
Québec’s Maritime Strategy includes creating maritime transportation logistics hubs near Montreal, along with various transportation, logistics, fishing and tourism initiatives. Smith says the relationship between Québec and Indiana is an important one.
"Indiana and Québec account for more than 40 percent of the total business revenue generated by shipping in this region," said Smith. "Maritime transportation provides vital connections for our manufacturing, agriculture and industrial sectors that support our growing economies, and our jurisdictions serve as critical gateways at either end of the Great Lakes."
In February, the Ports of Indiana reported its biggest year on record in 2015 with all three ports handling a total of more than 12.2 million tons of cargo.