Report on the signing of ACCORD projects
SGF and the regions aim to play a major role in the North American and world economy
Montréal, December 27, 2002 - In 2002, the Québec government, Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) and ACCORD (Action Concertée de Coopération Régionale de Développement) regional committees in four regions of Québec signed agreements for the development of "niches of excellence" that will help the regions position themselves as the best in the North American and world marketplace. Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of SGF, Claude Blanchet, painted an exciting picture of SGF’s dynamic participation in regional development in Québec in 2002.
"We often forget to mention that 56% of our investments between 1998 and 2002 have been in regions other than Montréal, Laval and Québec City. At the end of our five-year plan, we were looking for a way to spread our investments in the different regions of Québec so we analyzed various models around the world and identified regional industrial clusters as the tool to generate economic prosperity", said Blanchet. Using this approach, promising clusters in each region are identified and, through a strategic intervention, the winning sectors are consolidated, value is created for the companies and the economy is more structured. "It is not a matter of creating a single industry but rather of "turbocharging" economic development niches that will have a positive impact on the whole region", explained Blanchet.
Following the recent Rendez-vous national des régions, SGF has already signed four ACCORD projects for the regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas Saint-Laurent, Mauricie and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine. "The discussions around these projects are already generating a lot of enthusiasm in the regions we visited. From the obvious interest shown by local leaders, we believe this enthusiasm will spread to all regions of Québec. The people are ready and the regional environment is already mobilized", added the SGF’s president.
SGF believes wholeheartedly in the objectives of the ACCORD, which are to increase innovation, productivity, investment and job creation. Its role is to participate in identifying and structuring industrial clusters. It will also help with diagnostic analyses, market assessments and international benchmarking to identify best practices. Then SGF will put its core expertise to good use by initiating and helping to put together, develop and finance major projects for the clusters.
SGF will continue to sign these agreements with other regions of Quebec in the coming year. It also intends to play an even bigger role and continue to do everything it can to contribute to regional industrial development. "We are sure that together, with the regions of Québec and the strong support of all regional business leaders, we will considerably boost the chances of making the ACCORD a tremendous joint initiative that will improve the quality and vitality of the environment in all regions of Québec", Blanchet concluded.
The mission of Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability. As of September 30, 2002, SGF’s consolidated assets totaled $3.1 billion. SGF has 65 international partners operating in 16 countries on four continents. (www.sgfqc.com)
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