Economic newsletter – October 2010, volume 4, number 2

Business Environment

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POLE Quebec Chaudière-Appalaches becomes Quebec International

The new corporate identity marks a key milestone for the agency, which is now stepping up its international efforts in a bid to attract more talent and investment. Above and beyond the name change, Quebec International's arrival marks an evolution in the organization's role within the regional, provincial and national economies. This change reflects the profound transformation of the regional economy and stands as a testament to our growing ability to occupy a prime position on the world stage.

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Promoting the Quebec City region and attracting foreign investment

Using a variety of texts and statistics, Invest in the Quebec City metropolitan region, a new publication by Quebec International, presents the region's main selling points, including its economy, human capital, innovation, creativity, competitiveness, business environment and lifestyle. The brochure won an award at the most recent meeting of the Quebec Association of Economic Developers (ADEQ) in the “Best Communications Tool” category.

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Developing mass transit infrastructure

To counter urban sprawl and provide the region with efficient mass transit infrastructure, a regional task force made up of economic and political leaders recently submitted a sustainable mobility plan whose recommendations included the construction of two tramlines totalling 29 km in length. Increased density along the route should make it possible to add 22,600 housing units and 2 million m2 of office space. Investments in local transportation infrastructure are expected to total approximately $7.6 billion over the next 15-20 years.

In related news, international traffic at Jean Lesage Airport has more than doubled since 2006. The number of travelers has now passed the one million mark per year. Established by Laval University, a new research chair with a $1 million budget over the next five years will measure the potential gains associated with activity development at the airport and will position the facility within the metropolitan economy.

While Genesee & Wyoming Canada was transforming the Henri IV rail yard (2.5 acres/1,500 containers) into an intermodal terminal for merchandise imports/exports, $19 million was being invested in upgrading the Lévis bridge crossing.

Quebec and Catalonia team up in the life sciences sector

At Bio Chicago in May 2010, Biopolis Quebec and Biocat announced the signing of a life sciences agreement aimed at supporting the completion of projects in both regions and fostering bilateral exchanges in this highly strategic sector.

New agreement between Laval University and the University of Bordeaux

Both universities have adopted a governance strategy and a series of priority initiatives in the areas of training, research and support services.

Hitting the books at Beauce Entrepreneurship School

The only one of its kind in Canada, the Beauce Entrepreneurship School (EEB) opened its doors in September 2010 with a class of 25 students hoping to hone their decision-making skills in the company of some of Quebec’s top business leaders. The faculty members include Jean Coutu (Jean Coutu Pharmacies), Charles Sirois (Télésystème), Jean Gattuso (A. Lassonde Inc.) and Pierre Shoiry (Genivar), in addition to Marc Dutil (Canam), president and founder of the school, which is 100% privately funded.