Canada is a great "first market" for Georgia exporters, with no new languages or complex distribution chains to learn, Gail Morris tells Global Atlanta.

Canada has always welcomed Georgia companies, which is one reason it’s a great place for firms to start their export journey, the director of the state’s office north of the border told Global Atlanta

“I find that with Canada, anything that Georgia wants to try out, it’s a great first foreign market. The language, distribution, everything is similar, so exporters aren’t learning a whole lot of new things and having to adjust to a lot of new programs,” said Gail Morris, who has managed the Toronto office for the past three years. 

Still, despite healthy trade between the two, Georgia isn’t always “top of mind” when Canadian firms think about expanding overseas, Ms. Morris said. An alliance established in 2007 between six Southeastern states and seven Canadian provinces has been key in raising the profile of Georgia and its surrounding region. 

The SEUS-Canadian Provinces Alliance holds an annual conference, alternating locations so that companies can get a better feel for the strengths of each respective region. Conferences have been held in Savannah; Biloxi, Miss. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the United States and New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. 

Starting in 2009, the conference added a business matchmaking component to help companies better connect with partners, while still giving them access to government officials. This July’s conference is to be held in Nova Scotia, which is strong in shipbuilding, financial services and information technology. 

A variety of tangible opportunities are to be discussed. The province is to receive $25 billion for building warships, including arctic patrol vessels, in a bid to strengthen Canada’s navy and revitalize its shipbuilding industry. Energy giants have put more than $1 billion into offshore oil exploration even as the province is spending $7.6 billion on hydroelectricity projects. 

Click here to learn more about the state’s international representatives or to contact the Canada office. Visit to learn more about SEUS/CP and this year’s conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...