Great Lakes Council Annual Conference Begins In Windsor Tonight

The Windsor-Detroit area is playing host to a major bi-national conference starting tonight.

The Great Lakes Economic Forum opens this evening in Windsor and many of the round-tables and speeches take place in Detroit tomorrow.

President and CEO of the Great Lakes Region Council, Mark Fisher, points out this region could stand on it's own internationally.

He points out the eight states and two provinces represent the third largest economy in the world and if it were a country would be 12th largest with a population above 100-million.

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Great Lakes Council President and CEO Mark Fisher (image via CGLC website)

Fisher says this is the third annual conference and the idea is to bring the area's leadership to one place:

"Try and bring business leaders, government officials and academia from around the region to share ideas about the biggest economic and environmental issues facing the region," says Fisher. "And, more importantly how do we share ideas and finding ways of creating economic growth and doing so in a way that looks at long term sustainability."

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A map of the Great Lakes. (Photo courtesy iStock/MarieTDebs)

Fisher says part of the focus is to elevate the profile of the region globally:

'We want people to start appreciating this is a hugely important region economically to both Canada and the US," he says. "A 5.9-trillion dollar economy that would be the 3rd largest in the world behind the US and China and is responsible fro roughly 30% of the Canadian and American workforce so it's a hugely important region."

Fisher says they'll tackle a wide variety of issue from economics and politics to the ecology of the lakes and the people who live around them.