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June 3, 2019

Québec’s Drawing Power in the Spotlight in New York

On a recent mission to Washington, DC and New York City, Québec Premier François Legault paid a visit to the New York head office of Collective[i] to announce that the company would soon open a business centre in Montréal. Thanks to the drawing power of its artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem, Québec’s largest city has become the top choice of business leaders.


As the creator of one of the largest international intelligent data networks putting AI to work for sales teams around the world, Collective[i] is looking to expand. It expects to create some 30 jobs in Montréal by 2020.


Photo of Prime Minister François Legault on a mission to New York. Copyright: Émilie Nadeau, photographer. Source: François Legault's Twitter account.


Rewarding meetings


During the mission, the Premier also took part in talks with the heads of numerous large companies based in New York City. Several of them, including AVAIO Capital and MasterCard, are in contact with Investissement Québec’s New York office and other teams in its International Affairs Division. The aim of the meetings was to move ahead on start-up projects and reinvestments in existing Québec subsidiaries.


Mr. Legault met with representatives of the multinational Citigroup, among others, and outlined the beneficial conditions that Québec is able to offer a large bank seeking to pursue its technological transformation. He also visited the offices of Blackstone, a subsidiary of which is working with Hydro-Québec on a transmission line project that is expected to deliver Québec power to New York City.


Mr. Legault also paid a visit to the head office of Morgan Stanley, which announced that it would be continuing to diversify its operations in Montréal, specifically in AI. He concluded with a visit to Facebook, which has had an AI research lab in Montréal since 2017. Mr. Legault spoke about Québec’s many advantages to encourage the company to expand its operations in the province.


Encouraging businesses that want to reduce their GHG emissions to set up shop in Québec


In addition to promoting Québec-made intelligent transportation and AI solutions, Mr. Legault held up Québec as a partner of choice for New York government agencies seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. “Québec has the potential to become North America’s top supplier of green energy, and it makes me proud to see a city like New York recognize that fact,” said Mr. Legault. “As we have always said, the greatest contribution that Québec can make in the fight against climate change is to export its hydropower.”


It was in that spirit that Mr. Legault met with the Mayor of New York City’s right-hand man to lay the foundation for a possible collaboration. During their conversation, he reiterated that Québec energy is clean, reliable and affordable, and that Québec is well positioned to contribute to the city’s efforts to decarbonize.


Undeniable competitive advantages


In a speech to the Foreign Policy Association, Mr. Legault announced his intention to bring about a dramatic increase in U.S. investments in Québec thanks to a favourable financial and fiscal environment, as well as to boost Québec exports to the U.S.


A recap of some of Québec’s many advantages:


  • Access to a market of 1.4 billion consumers thanks to free-trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • A pool of exceptional talent, trained primarily at seven universities and six engineering faculties, making the Québec workforce one of the world’s most qualified.
  • An extraordinary AI ecosystem, positioning Québec as a world leader in AI research and a competitive data mining hub. That ecosystem includes the world’s biggest and most prestigious deep-learning research team at MILA, the Québec Artificial Intelligence Institute.
  • Clean, affordable energy. Québec is one of the world’s top producers of hydroelectricity, and its electricity rates are among the lowest and most stable in North America.
  • Competitive tax measures and incentives. Québec encourages its businesses with a tax regime that plays a major role in reducing their operating costs. That tax regime is rounded out by a wide array of financial incentives, including tax holidays and generous tax credits.


Read more:

An Electrifying Partnership for Hydro-Québec and Investissement Québec