Why Québec?
Business Environment


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

 

Illustration indicating “$92 billion in exports”, close to 70% to the U.S.”

 

  • The province’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly in recent years, down to 5.5% in 2018.
  • The value of Québec’s exports hit $92 billion in 2018, close to 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 of an Amazon delivery box, Montreal distribution centerIn announcing the opening of its data centre in Montréal, Amazon Web Services Open a new window(AWS) cited the cost and availability of electricity as decisive factors in its choice to locate there. Teresa Carlson, AWS’s Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, 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 66% 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 North American market, with close to 500 million consumers, thanks to CUSMA;
  • the European market, with over 500 million consumers, thanks to CETA.
  • the Asian market, with nearly 500 million consumers, thanks to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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

 

  • CETA: Canada and the European Union
  • CUSMA:  United States,  Mexico and Canada
  • 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 150 languages are spoken in Québec, including Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, German and Portuguese.

 

  • In 2016, 44.5% Open a new windowof the Québec population (3.6 million people) were able to speak both French and English.
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Contact your expert

Richard Deschênes

Project Manager, Development of International Subsidiaries, Montréal

514 873-4664
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