Why Québec?
Business Environment

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


Illustration indicating “$80 billion in exports” and “70% to the U.S.”


  • The annual unemployment rate was reduced by 0.5 percentage point in 2016, to a historical low of 7.1%.
  • The value of Québec’s exports reached $80 billion in 2016. Nearly 70% of those exports went to the U.S.
  • Québec City and Lévis are now part of a new Foreign Trade Zone point, the first in Québec, the ninth in Canada. This new hub for international trade will attract new investments and help businesses access foreign markets.

 Photo illustrating the quality of life in Canada


  • According to the most recent Forbes study, Canada is the second best G20 country for doing business. What’s more, the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts that the country could keep that top spot for the next five years.
  • Between 2012 and 2015, Canada had one of the highest GDP growth rates of all G7 countries. According to economists, this favourable situation should be maintained until 2018.
  • When it comes to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), Canada’s leadership is enviable, having led the G7 countries and ranked second among the G20 countries for the highest FDI flows per capita from 2011 to 2015.
  • Canada is an excellent place to live. Indeed, according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, Canada ranks first among G7 and G20 countries, and fifth among 149 countries in terms of overall prosperity based on material wealth and personal well-being.


Well-regulated banking system

Photo of signed legal documentsForeign investors have good reasons to trust Canadian banks: in 2016-17, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked the Canadian banking system third best in the world. Canada is also the soundest among G7 countries, largely thanks to the presence of several of the world’s safest 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 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.”


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

Québec is open to the world and a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which helps keep trade flowing smoothly.


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


  • CETA: Canada and the European Union
  • NAFTA: Canada, the United States and Mexico
  • CKFTA: Canada and South Korea
  • CCFTA: Canada and Chile
  • Agreements reached with Israel, Peru, Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Honduras  Costa Rica and, most recently, Ukraine


Signed on October 30, 2016, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was approved by the European Parliament on February 15, 2017. This grants Canadian businesses preferential access to over 500 million consumers, making Canada one of the first industrialized nations with access to the world’s two largest markets, namely the United States (326 million consumers) and Europe (over 500 million consumers).

Photo of businesspeople from different originsQuébec has a unique asset in North America: its rich 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 3.4 million Quebecers, or 42.6% of the population, are able to speak both French and English.
  • Montréal, a cosmopolitan city par excellence, is home to more than 120 ethnocultural communities, over 60 international organizations and 32,000 international students.

Contact your expert

Benoît Larouche

Director, Business Development, New York

212 843-0976