To promote investment and expansion in Detroit, it’s important to fully quantify and leverage the unique attributes of the region.
That requires looking across the border to see the abundant resources that exist in Ontario, particularly the Windsor-Essex County region. An inherent benefit to Detroit is its location to the international border which opens both Canada-specific opportunities and serves as a global gateway. Detroit is the largest city on the U.S.-Canadian border, and can realize tremendous lift by curating the many advantages this geographic advantage presents.
That was the theme of a March 6, 2018, bi-national workshop attended by U.S. and Canadian stakeholders representing Federal, state/provincial and municipal officials as well as border operators and industry partners. The topic: Connecting the two thriving regions, and — in particular — the neighboring international downtowns separated by only 5,000 square feet of river using smart technologies and roadways.
Almost $500M in commercial goods cross the Windsor-Detroit border every day. As we grow our U.S.-Canada effort to attract new investment into the region, we must ensure that goods move efficiently and securely, especially for our automotive businesses. Therefore, it’s critical that we explore the state of new vehicle technologies and the possible related infrastructure needs for the Windsor-Essex Region and Detroit/South Eastern Michigan Region.
Staying ahead of the innovation curve is critically important for our cities in every measure. Finding solutions on connected and autonomous vehicles, and seamless border travel, is paramount to our economic development
Our region is known for partnerships: between government and private industry, between auto makers and technology firms, and between the two great countries we represent. This recent bi-national workshop is an extension of the work already being done in advanced manufacturing, medical-health, technology and mobility. In fact, our collaboration is elevating our regional leadership in the global mobility space by addressing the specific problems of crossing an international border and all the technological challenge that accompany merging two different systems of operation
Businesses around the world are being exposed to the rich talent and resources found in the Detroit-Windsor metro-area. Our collaboration is yet another unique attribute that will contribute to Intelligent mobility and logistics solutions, which are among the underpinnings of our economic success and regional continuity.
The DEGC thanks the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for hosting the event and forwarding the momentum on new vehicle technologies and related infrastructure.
We will continue to work with our binational partners on this, and other topics, to continue to position our region’s economic viability. That includes our Conference on “Emerging Technologies” being held in November 2018.
Engaging in unifying conversations that uncover diverse perspectives about how Detroit and Windsor impact each other is critical, as is collaborating on ways in which we can help each achieve sustainable growth.