Why Québec?
Business Environment


With a population of over 8 million, Québec is a major economic player on the Canadian scene.

 

Illustration indicating “$85 billion in exports”, more than “70% to the U.S.”

 

  • The growth of Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) has picked up speed, climbing from$nbsp;1.4% in 2016 to 3.0% in 2017.
  • The province’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly in recent years, down to 6.1% in 2017.
  • The value of Québec’s exports hit $85 billion in 2017, with over 70% of them going to the U.S.
  • Québec City and Lévis are part of the first Foreign Trade Zone in Québec and the ninth in Canada. This hub of international trade is set to attract more investors and help businesses access foreign markets.

 Photo illustrating the quality of life in Canada

 

  • Between 2014 and 2017, Canada had one of the best GDP growth rates of the G7 countries. According to economists’ projections, this favourable situation should continue until 2019.
  • According to the Legatum Prosperity Index*, Canada ranks first among G7 countries and first among G20 countries for overall prosperity based on material wealth and personal well-being.
  • When it comes to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), Canada’s leadership is enviable. In terms of per-capita FDI inflows, Canada was the top performer among the G7 countries and ranked second among the G20 countries, after Australia.

 

Well-regulated banking system

Image illustrating the security of the Canadian banking system Well-regulated banking system Foreign investors have good reasons to trust Canadian banks: In 2017-18, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked the Canadian banking system second-best in the world. It’s also the soundest among G7 countries, largely thanks to the presence of several of the world’s most solid banks. The regulatory, control and compensatory infrastructure that governs the Canadian banking system also ensures the stability, growth and competitiveness of Québec’s financial institutions.

Photo of an Amazon delivery box, Montreal distribution centerIn announcing the opening of its data center cluster in Montréal, Amazon Web Services Open a new window cited the cost and availability of electricity as determining factors for locating there. Teresa Carlson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector for AWS, said, “We picked the area that we did because of the hydropower. We did find them (Québec) to be very business friendly.”

 

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Conceptual illustration of free trade (businesspeople, a city and a map of the world)

Nearly 60% of Canada’s GDP is tied to international trade, making Canada one of the world’s most open economies.

 

Québec has privileged access to the planet’s two biggest free-trade zones:

 

  • the European market, with over 500 million consumers, thanks to CETA.

Here are some of the free-trade agreements in place:

 

  • CETA: Canada and the European Union
  • CKFTA: Canada and South Korea
  • CCFTA: Canada and Chile
  • Agreements reached with Israel, Peru, Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Honduras  Costa Rica and, most recently, Ukraine
  • Canadian Free Trade Agreement

 

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an intergovernmental trade agreement signed by Canadian First Ministers that entered into force on July 1, 2017. Its objective is to enhance interprovincial trade and to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.

Photo of businesspeople from different originsQuébec has an asset that is unique in North America: its linguistic and cultural diversity.

 

In addition to French and English, some 80 languages are widely spoken in Québec, including Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, German and Portuguese.

 

  • About 3.6 million Quebecers, or 44.5 % of the population, are able to speak both French and English. In Montréal, over 50% of inhabitants are bilingual.
  • Montréal, a cosmopolitan city par excellence, is home to more than 70 ethnocultural communities, over 60 international organizations and some 33,000 international students.
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Contact your expert

Benoît Larouche

Director, Business Development, New York

212 843-0976