Nouveau plan quinquennal de développement de la SGF :
ACCORD projects and making the regions more competitive
Montréal, February 23, 2003 - Claude Blanchet, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, said today that "SGF's new five‑year development plan (2002‑2006) backs up the commitment we made at the Rendezvous national des régions in the fall of 2002. In fact, he said, the ACCORD (Action Concertée de COopération Régionale de Développement) agreements are an essential lever in this development plan."
SGF, in collaboration with the Québec department responsible for the regions and regional business leaders, plans to play a key role in positioning Québec regions as the site of specific industrial competencies in North America. It literally wants to "turbocharge" the regional economies by banking on the strengths and assets of the local and regional communities, and to increase innovation, productivity, investment and job creation.
"By supporting regional business leaders in carrying out projects that will structure the economy, SGF can maximize its economic development role. We have signed six ACCORDs and can already see how the Québec regions generate joint projects that will improve the overall quality of life of the people who live there", added Blanchet.
SGF is helping to identify and structure industrial clusters. It will collaborate on diagnostic analyses, market studies and international benchmarking of the best development conditions. Using its particular expertise, it will initiate and participate in setting up, developing and financing major projects for the clusters.
"The large majority of the members of the regional committees formed under the ACCORDs, concluded the SGF president, are local business and civic leaders, so there is no need to add new structures to the existing ones. Fourteen regional committees have been formed and are active, or are in the process of being formed. Clusters have already been selected for the six committees that are up and running. Before the end of this year, we hope that all the regions concerned will be working with us."
Less than a year ago, after doing in‑depth comparative analyses with outside national and international experts on the economic performance of the Québec regions and various North American and European areas, SGF realized that the industrial cluster strategy would speed up development in all cases. Based on this information, SGF established the foundation of its strategy: what clusters were in place in Québec, what their strengths were, and what clusters were emerging. Then, looking at each region more closely, what future sectors could be encouraged to become clusters.
The mission of the 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. Since it was restructured in 1998, SGF has generated $10.6 billion in investments and created more than 56,000 direct and indirect jobs. As of December 31, 2001, SGF's consolidated assets totaled over $3 billion. SGF has 65 international partners operating in Québec. (www.sgfqc.com)