MOU Signing in Winnipeg, Canada

By James Ryan, International Trade Specialist, Illinois SBDC International Trade Center

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center (ITC) at Bradley University and the World Trade Centre Winnipeg (WTC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding as part of a U.S. State Department program. The goal of the agreement is to share best practices, provide joint counseling for small business clients, facilitate cooperative trade missions, and support exporters.

The ITC approached the WTC, located in the province of Manitoba, after recognizing potential opportunities presented by a common history in agriculture and product distribution, as well as their emphasis on specialized manufacturing in a number of complementary industry sectors.  It also builds on the partnership already in place between Illinois and Manitoba.

“We believe this is a noteworthy announcement given the broader context of the Province’s 2011 MOU with the
press State of Illinois,” WTC President and CEO Mariette Mulaire (pictured right) said at the signing witnessed by local dignitaries and 70 members of the Winnipeg business community, as well as the US Consul in Winnipeg, Chris Gunner. The Bradley University delegation spent the better part of two days meeting with business leaders and touring facilities related to Winnipeg’s thriving technology commercialization and innovation sectors.

Winnipeg has a lot to offer our exporters and innovators,” stated Chad Stamper, Director of Technology Commercialization at the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship. “We saw numerous opportunities for collaboration in their Innovation Alley, at the University of Manitoba, and with other organizations.”

“In addition to continuing discussions with the Foster College of Business on Entrepreneurship programs and study abroad opportunities, we are looking forward to further exploring Winnipeg’s potential as an export market for Central Illinois this October when the WTC will be sending a delegation to Peoria to participate in our “Explore Canada” export seminar,” added Jim Foley, Director of the ITC (pictured below). 

This event will also provide information on Centrallia 2016 in Winnipeg. Centrallia is an international business-to-business forum focused on generating trade and business development opportunities centered around a targeted, speed-dating format with prospective customers and partners, as well as a conference component, a trade show and world-class networking events. For more information, please contact Jim Ryan at or 309 677-3075.