Minister Pierre Arcand begins the Strategy's implementation with a visit to three high-growth states

Québec, February 21, 2010

Today, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, will begin his first mission to the United States since the unveiling of the Québec Government's U.S. Strategy. The mission to Louisiana, Texas and Georgia is Québec's first positioning initiative stemming from the Strategy. The three states are important Québec partners and account for an annual trade volume of nearly $7 billion.

“We launched the Strategy to vitalize exchanges with the United States. We want to give a new thrust to our relations centered on the economy, culture and identity while at the same time strengthening Québec's environmental leadership. Increasing Québec's capacity to take action and developing our areas of expertise are crucial. In doing so, it is equally important to contribute to the security of the North American continent, since trade and security are closely linked,” said the Minister.

The mission is set to start in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – home to one of the largest Francophone communities in the Americas. Minister Arcand will sign a declaration of intent with the Louisiana Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Tourism that will strengthen our ties in the areas of education, culture and youth. During his visit, the Minister will be accompanied by the Director General of the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques.

The Minister will then travel to Houston and Austin, Texas, where meetings are scheduled with Texas government officials and influential players in the environmental, energy and economic sectors. Texas is our second largest trading partner in the United States. In 2008, Québec and Texas traded $4.6 billion worth of goods.

The mission's last stop will be Atlanta, Georgia, where Minister Arcand intends to push for increased trade during meetings with political figures, including the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. While in Atlanta, the Minister will also be promoting our sectors of excellence and Québec's investment potential to several of the region's economic media.

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Information : 418 649-2400 ext. 57174

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