Some 300 people gathered at Quebec City’s convention centre (Centre des congrès) tonight to mark Quebec International’s 10th anniversary. The event was attended by Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, together with Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Agnès Maltais, Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister Responsible for the Quebec City Region (Capitale-Nationale); and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume.
Quebec International recently unveiled a new edition of Investing in the Quebec City Region, a promotional brochure designed to promote the region’s competitive advantages to foreign investors. Showcasing the region’s most appealing features, the brochure seeks to convince investors that Quebec City is the ideal place to set up and grow a company.
According to the 2013-2014 American Cities of the Future rankings compiled by UK-based fDi Magazine, which is published by the Financial Times Group, Quebec City placed in the Top 10 in three categories (Mid-Sized American Cities of the Future, Business Friendliness and Best fDi Strategy). A total of 422 cities in the Americas were evaluated by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times, and divided into five groups based on population size. Quebec City is in the mid-sized cities group, which includes urban areas with populations of more than 200,000 inhabitants and metropolitan regions with more than 750,000 inhabitants.
Quebec International (QI) recently launched the 2013 Export Series program, which includes a comprehensive range of activities designed to provide regional companies with the tools they need for international success. Some 150 business people and economic development stakeholders were on hand for the event, which featured a presentation by Marc Dutil, president and chief operating officer of Canam Group, who described how his company has been conquering global markets for the past 52 years.
Under the auspices of the Capitale‐Nationale ACCORD program (Concerted Action for Regional Development Cooperation), Agnès Maltais, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister Responsible for the Quebec City region, and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City, recently announced their financial support for the implementation of a biomanufacturing research platform for vaccines and other medical treatments. At an assessed cost of $670,000, the project will receive $215,000 in funding from the Quebec City Bureau (BCN) and the Quebec Department of Finance and the Economy and $200,000 from the City of Quebec. In addition, the participating companies, Medicago and Folia Biotech, will be investing $255,000 between them.
The sixth annual Quebec City Healthcare Industry Forum (Forum de l’industrie de la santé de Québec/FISQ) will be held on December 4. A roster of national and international experts and stakeholders will discuss a variety of topics in line with the theme of “From innovation to integration in the healthcare system”.
International Cruise: announcement of an agreement reached with Holland America Line. This agreement will serve to significantly increase summer cruise ship traffic on the St. Lawrence River. Using the Veendam cruise ship, the company plans to add at least eight turnaround operations (embarking/disembarking) in Quebec City during the summer over a three-year period beginning in 2013.
The Quebec City region and Quebec International have shone once again in US-based Site Selection magazine’s “Best to Invest” rankings for Canada, which recognize the country’s economic development champions. The region placed second in the list of “Top Canadian Metros”, while Quebec International was once again named the “Top Canadian Economic Development Group”.
More than 60 people will be meeting today in conjunction with Demo Day - Quebec FastTrac® TechVenture™, organized by Quebec International in collaboration with the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) and Microsoft. Held at the ENAP, this event will provide an opportunity to attend presentations given by seven companies that recently completed the Quebec FastTrac® TechVenture™ program.
Today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International launched SME Passport, accompanied by their partners National Bank, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation and its Export-Québec unit. This new structured, comprehensive training and support program for businesses with the potential to break into foreign markets will be headed up by the Board of Trade’s team of international trade experts, the World Trade Centre Montréal, and the team from Québec International.
The Quebec City CMA is abuzz with projects. According to data compiled by Quebec International, the region currently has 250 projects under way or announced. These projects are expected to generate approximately $9.5 billion in expenditures by 2020. This momentum is also having a positive impact on the value of building permits, which remains at a historically high level. In the first quarter of 2013, the total value of building permits was down slightly to $340.7 million (-1.1%).
The number of bankruptcies fell for the third year in a row in the Quebec City CMA. In 2012, the region recorded a total of 1,868 bankruptcies, down 2.6% from 2011. In keeping with the downtrend observed in Quebec and across Canada, the Quebec City CMA turned in its best performance since at least 2006.
The Quebec City metropolitan region generated $32.5 billion in real GDP in 2012, a new record. However, the annual increase was only 0.9%, down from 2% in 2011, with the downturn in the labour market in the second half of 2012 and the persistent decline in manufacturing accounting for this more modest showing. Still, the Quebec City CMA recorded average annual growth of 1.9% between 2007 and 2012, one of the highest rates in Canada. Of the country’s eight principal CMAs, only Edmonton (3.4%) and Calgary (2.0%) outpaced Quebec City.
The Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) recorded Canada’s highest job creation rate in the first quarter of 2013. Outperforming all other Canadian regions, Quebec City posted a quarterly gain of 9,400 jobs, for a total of 428,100. Unemployment fell to 4.4%, one of the lowest rates in the country (the regional unemployment rate has not been this low since early 2010).
The employment market continues to hit its stride in the Quebec City CMA. From January to February, 1,500 jobs were created in the region, for a total of 423,200. Based on this performance, the region has been one of the most dynamic Canadian metropolitan areas since the beginning of the year. In addition, the number of jobs is once again approaching the historic high seen in spring 2012.
The Quebec City CMA started off the New Year on a good note, recording a total of 421,700 jobs in January, up 3,000 from December 2012. Fuelled by this strong performance, the region posted one of the highest job creation rates in Canada (tied with Barrie and Winnipeg), edged out only by Montreal. In addition, the total number of jobs in the region returned to the level recorded last spring, thereby offsetting some of the turbulence felt last summer and fall.
The Quebec City metropolitan region had a banner year in 2012, with a total of 421,300 jobs, up 2,100 from 2011. This helped drive unemployment down to 5.1%, the lowest rate in the province of Quebec and one of the lowest in Canada. Quebec City excelled despite a roller-coaster performance in the second half of the year.
The month of November brought good news for the labour market in the Quebec City CMA. The region recorded a total of 419,900 jobs, up 3,700 from October. This gain brought total employment to a higher level than it was back in July. Quebec City also had the highest job creation rate in the province in November, edging out Montreal (+3,600) and Gatineau (+3,300).
The number of bankruptcies dropped by 7.9% in the Quebec City CMA in the third quarter of 2012 to a total of 429. The region showed the same downtrend as that observed elsewhere in Quebec and the rest of Canada. In addition, the improved financial situation of consumers and businesses in Quebec City helped drive the number of bankruptcies down to the lowest quarterly level in the past five years. Thanks to this fine performance, the number of bankruptcies was limited to 1,400 in the first nine months of 2012, down 5.7% from the same period in 2011.
According to recently updated Conference Board of Canada data, the Quebec City region continues to grow. In the third quarter of 2012, the region saw its GDP increase by 1.3% compared with the same period in 2011, reaching a total of $27.5 billion. Thanks to this strong showing, the region is positioned among the top-performing Canadian CMAs.