Québec mission to Brazil The City of Rio de Janeiro has confirmed its interest in proposals from Québec companies for its numerous development projects leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Québec City, November 4, 2009 – In Rio de Janeiro as part of an official mission to Brazil, Pierre Arcand, Québec's Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for la Francophonie, met with municipal authorities and the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The meetings were an opportunity for the Minister to confirm Rio's openness to proposals from Québec companies and organizations interested in contributing to projects in preparation for the major events to be hosted by Rio over the coming years, namely the 2011 World Military Games, the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The City of Rio plans to invest about $15 billion in infrastructure for the events. Following his meetings, Arcand said that he was pleased to learn that environmental quality and sustainable development in the region will be major criteria for selecting projects. “Clearly, Québec companies will be able to bank on these aspects in their proposals,” he said.

The Governor of Rio suggested that Québec and the State of Rio de Janeiro draft a formal cooperation agreement in the areas of the economy, health sciences, the environment, science and technology, occupational training and the social economy.

Minister Arcand also took the opportunity to offer Québec's support for ensuring the presence and quality of French at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. As it did for the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008, Québec has invited the Organizing Committee to sign an agreement allowing young Québec translation trainees to collaborate on translations in order to ensure the quality of French, one of the Olympics' official languages, during the Games. The Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse (OQAJ) would look after coordinating this aspect of collaboration with Brazil.

“Québec places great importance on youth development. Young people are excellent ambassadors of Québec society on the international stage. We are delighted to give them this opportunity to contribute to the impact of French while enhancing their personal and professional development,” said Arcand.

Pierre Arcand is in Curitiba today for the first meeting of a Paraná-Québec joint cooperation committee. He will wrap up his mission in São Paulo on Thursday and Friday. Trade between Québec and Brazil totalled $2 billion in 2008, up $900 million over the figure for 2004.

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