Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
A group of Canadian businesses is looking to expand their operations to Irving.
Irving is trying to attract more international companies.
The city hosted eight companies from Quebec and representatives from the region at the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning.
Louise Fortin, Quebec's director of economic affairs, said she was visiting Las Colinas for the first time.
"We would like to know more about Irving," she said. "We would like to know more about what kind of companies are here and what kind of business we can do together."
Fortin said Texas is Quebec's second largest trading partner in the United States after New York.
"We have $8 billion worth of trade between Quebec and Texas," she said.
The city of Irving has been working hard to bring global companies to North Texas. City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said its approach in recent years has shifted from offering primarily business incentives to more comprehensive ones.
"It's one thing to bring 700 or 800 employees to Irving, but then we want them to live here," he said. "We want them to live here, work here and play here."
Shawn Callaway, the chamber's chief operating officer, said about a dozen international companies have their U.S. headquarters in Irving.
"When these foreign investors come in, it just allows us to continue to build on our success," Callaway said.
Gonzalez said Irving's unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in August and that the city also has created or retained 7,000 jobs this year.