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New England Governors, Eastern Canadian Premiers Meet in New Hampshire

Once a year, the governors of the six New England states and premiers of the five eastern provinces of Canada come together for a day to look at the common issues and challenges they face … and ways to solve them.

This year, for the first time in about 20 years, they met in New Hampshire, at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel (where, by the way, delegates from 44 Allied nations met 70 years ago this month to stabilize Europe and the world following World War II). By the end of the day at the 38th annual conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, the leaders adopted resolutions relating to energy, economic development and transportation.

“The economies of the New England states and Eastern Canadian provinces are linked, and further collaboration on economic development and energy will help create jobs, protect our natural resources and improve the economies of all our states and provinces,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan, who co-hosted the event with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Tom Marshall.

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Christopher Wrenn, NHADEC ~ Commissioner Jeffery Rose

Discussing the regional economy was a priority of Hassan’s and she assembled a panel from both sides of the border for the session, Strengthening Partnerships for Regional Economic Development, which was moderated by Commissioner Jeffrey Rose of the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Aerospace was one of the topics and was a great platform for discussion of New Hampshire’s efforts in helping one of its fastest growing industries take off. Christopher Wrenn, chairman of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, talked about the organization’s evolution over the past 18 months, including the signing of an MOU last December with AeroMontreal, concluding that the consortium “is poised to do great things.”

Martin LaFleur, a senior director with AeroMontreal, called it a “promising partnership,” in line with his organization’s goal of establishing an aerospace corridor in the northeast.

“Our competition isn’t between ourselves,” he said, “but emerging countries.”

At the conclusion of the session, the governors and premiers agreed on an economic development resolution. It calls for the NEG/ECP’s coordinating committee to establish a process of identifying challenges to regional economic development and trade, as well as opportunities enhancing the region’s competitiveness.

Expect an interim report due at next year’s conference in St. John, Newfoundland, and a final report at the 2016 conference.

The other resolutions include: Directing the Northeast International Committee on Energy to organize a Regional Forum in late 2014 for a public-private sector dialogue on the ongoing changes to the region’s energy landscape and the Transportation and Air Quality Committee  to continue its work to enhance transportation choices.

 

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development