Lessons Learned from Canada Trade Mission

Group of people cutting a ribbon at the St. Louis airport

Participants share takeaways from Montreal, Ottawa meetings

Led by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, 30 delegates recently completed a trade mission to Canada. The trade mission was hosted by World Trade Center St. Louis (WTC) and included the inaugural non-stop flight between Montreal and St. Louis on May 2 on Air Canada. Mission participants met with Canadian business, government and civic leaders and local experts. They also attended cultural and networking events and visited Canada’s capital city Ottawa.

Some of these delegates shared their experiences from the trade mission.

Why are trade missions, such as the one to Canada, important?

“The Trade Mission gave the St. Louis region an opportunity to showcase our strong economy and vibrant communities. With nonstop flights to Montreal, it is easier for our businesses with an international footprint to succeed and for our region to retain, recruit and expand businesses. This also is a great opportunity for our residents to explore another country, adding Montreal to the possibilities of a long weekend getaway.”

-Dr. Sam Page, St. Louis County Executive

“Trade missions give us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our economic development counterparts, potential business partners and to learn more about the place we are looking to do more business with. In addition, it gives us the delegation the opportunity to learn more about what we can do to improve the greater metropolitan area. As a group we can talk through the potential ideas and innovations.”

-Tracy Hart, President & CEO at Tarlton

What is the most important takeaway you had from this trade mission?

“The most important takeaway from the is trip was learning the strength of our trading ties to Canada. The amount of culture and commerce that moves between St. Louis and our neighbors to the north is something to be celebrated.”

– Tishaura O. Jones, St. Louis Mayor

“This trade mission served as a good reminder of how imperative Canada is to the St. Louis economy, but it also showed that there is potential to grow that relationship even more.”

-Rodney Crim, CEO & president of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

Will you be following up on anything now that the trade mission is complete?

“We will be following up with the new relationships we made in Montreal and Ottawa. These logistics, local government resources and Canadian companies will all help zPODS expand our company footprint in Canada.”

-Gary Kellman, CEO of zPods.

Canada is the largest trade and investment partner for the state of Missouri and the St. Louis region. According to a study from Missouri Partnership, Missouri imported $7.5 billion worth of products from Canada in 2022, while Missouri exports to Canada totaled $5.6 billion.