Cleveland, Ohio announced as location of the fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum

November 6, 2018

Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario – Today, the Council of the Great Lakes Region announced that Cleveland, Ohio will host the Great Lakes Economic Forum from May 6-8, 2019. The event engages business, governmental, political, academic and non-profit leaders from the eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec in strategic discussions about finding new ways of harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations.

“Cleveland plays a vital role in the revitalization and economic recovery of the Great Lakes Region,” Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelly said. “We are pleased the City of Cleveland will host the fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum, and look forward to engaging with our regional partners on issues that will impact Cleveland’s and the Great Lakes Region’s success, such as trade and investment, innovation, infrastructure renewal, manufacturing, job creation, and smart and sustainable cities.”

Cleveland and Ohio have long recognized the value of inter-state partnerships and cross border collaboration with Canada, especially the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in 2017, Ohio exported $50.1 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from the state supported an estimated 249,000 jobs. The state’s largest market was Canada. Ohio exported $19.0 billion in goods to Canada in 2017, representing 38 percent of the state’s total goods exports. Further, Canada is a significant source of investment for Ohio. The 291 Canadian-owned companies operating in the state provide over 25,000 jobs, with an average annual wage of US$45,930.

“The size and significance of the Great Lakes economy rivals almost all of the world’s leading nations,” said William D. Friedman, President & CEO, Port of Cleveland and member of the Council’s board of directors. “But as global commerce expands, investment flows quicken, and the mobility of talent and ideas accelerates, we must work regionally to reimagine how we are going to compete in a global climate of interconnected markets and supply chains, from growing more food for the world’s hungry and creating the industries and innovations of the future, to fighting climate change. I’m pleased the Council’s economic Forum is coming to Ohio, as this public-private sector event allows us to tackle these issues head-on.”

The Forum’s theme, From Partnership Flows Sustainable Prosperity, signifies that in today’s global economy, the two countries, along with regional governments, industry and academia, must work together like never before to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in building the most prosperous, innovative, sustainable, and welcoming cross-border region in the world. More information about the Forum can be found at

Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region adds, “The Council is committed to positioning the Great Lakes Region to lead the new economy and understands that when our workers, families and sectors succeed in era of rapid and constant change, the entire Region succeeds in inter-connected global economy. By working together, we can make the Great Lakes ‘the’ place to live, work, learn, do business, invest, and innovate.”

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council is a binational non-profit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger, more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate through policy research and programs, connecting leaders from all levels of government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

Media Contacts:

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
Council of the Great Lakes Region
(613) 668-2044 /

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