Québec Associate Secretary General of Maritime Affairs and Indiana Secretary of Commerce tour Port of Indiana


[June 1, 2016]

PORTAGE, Ind. – Québec Associate Secretary General of Maritime Affairs Georges Farrah and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith met at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to tour the port and discuss maritime strategies for growing regional economies.

The visit was precipitated by the launch of Quebec’s Maritime Strategy in June 2015 and the Indiana-Quebec Maritime Partnership in September 2015. Farrah was appointed in 2014 and serves as the Associate Secretary General for the implementation of the Maritime Strategy.

In June 2015, the Québec government announced a $9-billion plan to develop the province’s maritime infrastructure that is designed to create 10,000 jobs within five years and up to 30,000 by 2030. The plan includes creating maritime transportation logistics hubs near Montreal, as well as various transportation, logistics, fishing and tourism initiatives. Québec’s Maritime Strategy has been celebrated throughout the Great Lakes as a model and bold vision for economic growth.

On Sept. 29, 2015, officials from the Province of Québec and the State of Indiana met at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to announce a new maritime partnership to intensify collaboration in shipping and maritime economic development on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence System. Québec’s Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann were joined by officials from the Ports of Indiana, Fednav Limited and Northwest Indiana Forum, who pledged their support from increasing maritime collaboration between the two jurisdictions. Areas of collaboration include trade missions, exchange of best practices, joint research efforts, and new partnerships between industry, government and academic institutions. The primary goal of this partnership is to support new maritime business connections that will generate tangible returns for Great Lakes/St. Lawrence shipping and the regional economies.

“Indiana and Québec have robust maritime economies and are strategically located to serve as key transportation hubs,” said Farrah. “We also share a rich heritage for waterborne trade between our jurisdictions and recognize the potential advantages that maritime shipping creates for our economy, our transportation systems and our environment.”

Prior to his appointment, Georges Farrah served from 2006 to 2014 as CEO of the Société des traversiers du Québec (Society of Québec Ferries), leading a network of 13 maritime services that connect major highways, isolated regions and public transit systems throughout Québec. Between 2001 and 2004, he served as Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and was a member of the Québec National Assembly for the Magdalen Islands constituency from 1985 to 1998, during which time he also served as parliamentary assistant, delegated minister and chief whip.

“Indiana and Québec account for more than 40 percent of the total business revenue generated by shipping in this region,” said Smith. “Maritime transportation provides vital connections for our manufacturing, agriculture and industrial sectors that support our growing economies, and our jurisdictions serve as critical gateways at either end of the Great Lakes.”

Victor Smith was appointed Secretary of Commerce for the state of Indiana in 2013. In this role, Smith is a member of Governor Mike Pence’s cabinet and leads the state’s domestic and international economic development agenda. His appointment as Secretary of Commerce follows a 17-year career of operations, sales and executive positions, including chief executive officer of CDS Engineering, a precision manufacturing company with locations in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia. With approximately 500 employees, the firm primarily serves the semiconductor capital equipment industry.

About the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor: The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970 and is operated by Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. Information:


Media Contact: Rich Allen, Ports of Indiana,; (317) 232-9204


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