Areas of collaboration


Québec constitutes the hub of economic relations between Canada and Spain, since over 40% of bilateral trade between the two countries is Québec-based. In 2011, overall trade between Québec and Spain totaled $1.02 billion ($432.7 million in exports to Spain and $592.9 in imports from this country). In 2011, Spain was Québec's 14th largest export market. There is strong potential for growth in economic relations, since trade is less than the relative weight of the size of their economy (in 2011, the Canadian and Spanish economies ranked 11th and 12th in the world in terms of their respective GDPs).

Spain hosts a number of international events at which Québec is increasingly present. Over the last years, some 60 trade missions have taken place in Spain and Québec, thereby contributing to increased trade between the two economies.

The most attractive markets in Spain for Québec companies are

  • Aerospace
  • Health and biotechnologies
  • Information and communications technology
  • Environment and renewable energies
  • Fashion and technical textiles
  • Tourism

Spanish companies in Québec

Some 30 Spanish companies operate in Québec and employ about 600 people. Here is a list of the biggest companies:

Petrochemical sector

  • Interquisa (Montréal)
  • Petresa (Bécancour)

Infrastructure sector

  • OHL (construction of the CHUM)
  • Dragados (extension of Highway 30)

Energy sector

  • Enerfin (wind park in the Centre du Québec region)

Hotel industry

  • The Iber Management Hotel Group (owner of the Hotel St-Paul in Montréal)

Agrifoods sector

  • The Ebro-Puleva Group (New World Pasta Canada, based in Montréal)
  • Cascajares (high-quality food products for hotels, restaurants, and institutions, based in Sainte-Hyacinthe)

Industrial sector

  • The Abressa Group (manufacturer of resin abrasives, based in Saint-Sébastien)

Fashion sector

  • Mango
  • Zara

Québec companies in Spain

Nearly 30 Québec companies have subsidiaries in Spain and generate around 2,500 jobs. Several belong to the new technologies sector. Among the largest are

  • Bombardier (Transport Division)
  • BRP (watercraft)
  • CAE (flight simulators)
  • CGI
  • Dialogic
  • Ivanohe
  • SNC-Lavalin

Most of these investors began setting up operations in Spain in the mid 90s to take advantage of the Spanish market's sustained growth, which was above the European average.

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In recent years, Québec has become Spain's primary Canadian partner in the area of culture. Indeed, Canada's cultural presence in Spain has largely been achieved by Québec artists. This success can be attributed to the quality of Québec's artistic productions, concerted market development strategies among networks, and guided support and promotion by the Québec Government Office in Barcelona; Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine (MCCCF); Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ); and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC).

A number of Québec festivals, companies and artists appear on a regular basis in Spain:

  • Robert Lepage
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Cirque Éloize
  • The Just for Laughs Festival
  • Mutek
  • MEG at the SONAR electronic music festival
  • Marie Chouinard
  • Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
  • LaLaLa Human Steps
  • Dynamo Théâtre
  • Le Carrousel

Québec galleries regularly participate in ARCO, a major contemporary art fair in Madrid. In addition, our poets and authors go on speaking tours as part of the tour program of the International Association of Québec Studies (AIEQ).

Québec also takes part in major cultural events in Spain where it gains recognition as a guest of honor:

  • The Tolosa International Puppet Festival — December 2009
    Five companies from Québec participated in a major exhibition featuring Québec-made puppets. A Québec gastronomy week was also held in Tolosa at that time.
  • FiraTàrrega — September 2009
    Three companies from Québec where showcased at this circus and street performing arts fair.
    • Les Parfaits Inconnus;
    • Mobile Home;
    • Poupées [K]rinkées.
  • LIBER — October 2008
    Some 30 publishers and 20 authors from Québec took part in this book fair, the largest Spanish and Latin American publishing industry event of its kind.

Following the example of Québec's cultural diversity coalition, Spain formed its own coalition, which is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The presence of Québec's Minister of Culture and Communications at an international meeting of culture ministers in Madrid in May 2005 provided an opportunity to highlight Québec's expertise and position regarding the adoption of UNESCO's Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Québec government was also represented at the 10th annual Ministerial Meeting of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP), held in Seville from September 20 to 22, 2007.

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Tourism also plays an important role in the growth of bilateral economic relations between Spain and Québec. The air link between Montréal and Madrid launched by Air Transat in summer 2006 and the one between Montréal and Barcelona initiated in May 2007 have had a positive impact on the growth of tourism. Since then, the Montréal carrier has steadily increased the number of passengers carried on its routes between Québec and Spain, especially in Catalonia. In addition, Air Canada implemented a direct seasonal link between Montréal and Barcelona in June 2010, which it continued to serve in 2011.

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Last update: 2019-04-18 10:11:59 AM