With its new mandate, Investissement Québec is unquestionably a key partner in Québec’s economy.
How does this affect the organization’s activities that you will oversee?
With Investissement Québec International, we want to ensure that we have real clout in foreign markets. Our mandates are clear: to double direct investments in order to attract new talent to offset the labour shortage and, finally, to help Québec companies increase exports so that they represent 50% of GDP!
Which of the major issues facing businesses resonates with you the most?
For me, it’s clearly the internationalization of businesses. The reason is quite simple: of the 250,000 companies in Québec, only 10,000 are exporters. Moreover, just over 1,000 of them generate 80% of Québec's exports, which means that there is much room for improvement. And we want to work with these leaders to achieve our ambitious goals. Thanks to our strong presence abroad, we are looking to encourage companies to increase their international sales, not only to the United States, which is the final destination for more than 70% of our exports, but also to other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
What really attracted you to Investissement Québec?
I was previously at Montréal International, where I also had the mandate to increase foreign investment. I was naturally enticed by the opportunity to contribute in a similar way here. But this time around, it’s for all of Québec, and I will also be involved in the growth of exports! The challenge is to ensure that our efforts benefit all regions of Québec. More than 80% of foreign investment goes to large urban centers. If we want to attract investments throughout all of our territory, we have to get the word out internationally about our regions.
What have you learned from working with entrepreneurs during your career?
At Cascades, I had the privilege of working for a great family of entrepreneurs: the Lemaire brothers. The most important thing that they taught me was respect for employees.