Governor Jay Nixon (D) is headed to Canada.

The Governor has announced that he will lead a delegation of Missouri business leaders and state officials to the Great White North, Sunday through Thursday. In a statement, Nixon says Canada is Missouri’s largest export market and bought nearly $4-billion in goods from Missouri last year. Nixon will meet with business leaders in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Nixon says he will meet with the leadership of major Canadian corporations that have made or are considering making investments in Missouri. Those include Magna International, the parent company of Magna Seating in Excelsior Springs and LMV Automotive in Liberty. LMV supplies parts for the Ford Transit, being built in Claycomo.

“This trade mission is a great opportunity to expand foreign investment in our state,” Governor Nixon says in his statement. “We’ve seen how, particularly in the automotive sector, companies like Magna International are seeing Missouri as an increasingly attractive place to invest and create high-paying jobs.”

He will be joined by First Lady Georganne Nixon, Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing, Department of Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce and representatives of Missouri businesses including Custom Metalcraft of Springfield, Essex Industries of St. Louis, Advantage Capital Partners and Kent Precision Foods Group, Inc. of St Louis.

Nixon will meet with government officials including the Minister of Industrial Policy in Quebec Elaine Zakaib, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast and the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynn. He will also address Canadian trade and industry associations including the American Chambers of Commerce in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa and the Montreal Board of Trade.

“Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, so in order to keep creating jobs here at home we need to do everything we can to reach new customers for Missouri-made products abroad,” Nixon says. “As Missouri’s number one export market, Canada offers tremendous opportunities for Missouri businesses and farmers. In fact, Canada purchased nearly $4 billion in Missouri goods last year alone – dollars that helped fuel our economy and bring our unemployment rate to a five and a half year low. The goal of this mission is simple: sell more products to Canada, and create more jobs in Missouri.”

The Governor, First Lady, and members of the delegation will arrive in Montreal on Sunday, March 2. The delegation will travel to Ottawa on Tuesday, March 4 and then to Toronto on Wednesday, March 5. The delegation will depart for Missouri on Thursday, March 6. Travel costs for Governor and Mrs. Nixon will be covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic growth in Missouri; state taxpayer funds will not be used.