Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton (left) and George W. Bush will speak at Surrey's annual economic summit this fall.

Clinton, Bush coming to Surrey

Former presidents will kick off this year's economic summit in October.

Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will be coming to Surrey as part of this year’s Surrey Regional Economic Summit.

Mayor Dianne Watts announced Tuesday morning that the two will be keynote speakers at the annual fall event in Surrey, which has already attracted the likes of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

However, for years organizers have said the big “get” would be Clinton, who they described as one of the most sought-after speakers in the world.

Watts said it was a bit of a coup getting both speakers here for this year’s summit.

“Both of them bring a unique perspective to the table in terms of their experience globally,” Watts said.

While both Bush and Clinton were controversial figures while in office, Watts doesn’t expect that to follow them here.

“It’s not political,” Watts said. “It has to do with their experience and what they’ve accomplished on a global level.”

She points out that the U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner, and the speakers may be able to offer some valuable insights for local businesses.

The summit will be held on Oct. 20. A venue has not yet been selected for the event.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com