Canada's Consul General for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky will be touring the state for "Canada Week in Ohio" Jan. 25 through Feb. 3.

Canada's Consul General for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky will be touring the state for "Canada Week in Ohio" Jan. 25 through Feb. 3. Consul General Douglas George will spend the week meeting with politicians and business leaders to highlight the economic relationship between Canada and the Buckeye State.

"We're not talking about two separate economies. The economies in Canada and the U.S., especially in this region, are completely intertwined," says George. As consul general, George assists Canadian citizens abroad and fosters diplomatic relations with elected officials. A major focus in his four-state region, he says, is the "trade and economic partnership."

"What we do is assist Canadian companies that are looking to export to Ohio or Ohio companies looking for suppliers to Canada. We also work to attract investment into Canada. Often with trade, investment follows," says George. George works with economic development agencies, such as Columbus 2020, to facilitate partnerships within the industries that work in tandem across Lake Erie.

The automotive parts industry, for example, is a prime example of what George calls the "joint economy" of Ohio and Canada. "Canada and Ohio don't just do a final product and sell it to each other; we build things together. If you're assembling cars in Ohio, a good portion of those auto parts come from Canada."

George will visit Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati during Canada Week. His stop in Columbus will include "Doing Business in Canada" seminars, as well as a Columbus Metro Club forum appearance on Jan. 28.

George projects continued growth in Ohio-Canada trade in 2015, thanks to rebounding national and state economies. "I've just found it amazing how much Ohio is coming back and coming back strong."

Historically, the strong economic relationship between Ohio and Canada is based on their proximity, similar legal systems and common language. "Joint peace and prosperity has been one of the key important drivers for both of our countries," says George, who served as Canada's ambassador to Kuwait before taking the Midwestern consulate post in 2014. "It's not always the case that your neighbor is your friend."