Charlotte, N.C., is being considered as one of 20 cities in the U.S. where Canada will open an honorary consulate by early 2005, Malcolm McKechnie, Canada’s consul general in Atlanta, told GlobalAtlanta.

“Charlotte is part of a new wave of cities under consideration,” he said. “What is appealing is the city’s economic profile.”

Mr. McKechnie pointed to the importance of the banking and lumber sectors and the city’s prominence as a transportation hub. He cited, for example, the recent expansion of U.S. Airways Inc. in Charlotte and daily non-stop flights offered by Air Canada to Toronto.

Additionally, Mr. McKechnie said that during the opening of the honorary consulate in Memphis, Tenn., on June 16-17, officials began discussion about future trade missions between Tennessee and Canada.

Officials from Tennessee plan to conduct a trade mission this year to Toronto focusing on bio-medical and life sciences and transportation, he said.

A delegation of Toronto business officials and sports enthusiasts are planning an economic initiative to Memphis to coincide with the Toronto Raptors basketball game against the Memphis Grizzles, which is slated for late 2004 or early 2005 when the new stadium opens, Mr. Mckechnie added.

For more information, contact the consulate at 404-532-2005.