Putting Jobs First - The External Trade Development Plan: $82 million to assist Québec exporters

Montréal, October 28, 2013 - Jean-François Lisée, the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, unveiled his 2013–2017 External Trade Development Plan today, under which $82 million will be invested by the government to consolidate Québec’s export efforts and better assist Québec exporters.

A clear objective

The objective of the External Trade Development Plan (ETDP) is clear: reduce Québec’s trade deficit by increasing exports and reducing petroleum imports. To achieve this goal, the actions of the government and its partners will be maximized to meet the expectations of Québec exporters more effectively.

“By 2017, the benefits of the Plan should enable companies that have received help in markets outside Québec to generate firm sales of over $940 million and create more than 6,000 jobs in Québec,” said the Minister.

Of the $82 million announced, $60 million will be earmarked for an essential tool—Export Québec’s Export Program—which will also be reviewed in order to boost its effectiveness.

“Our goal is to help Québec companies give new impetus to their exports. For example, we hope to provide assistance to 2,500 companies in markets outside Québec and help identify 1,000 new exporting companies. We plan to achieve this goal by identifying the resources required to meet our needs,” said the Minister.

An unprecedented joint effort

The External Trade Development Plan is one of the four strategic initiatives set out in the Economic Policy: Putting Jobs First unveiled by the Premier on October 7. The Plan was introduced following unprecedented consultations of companies, associations and regional organizations throughout Québec. Concrete and innovative initiatives were identified to support exporting companies and better identify their needs and concerns. The goal is to provide simplified access to export services, ensure a better match between Québec supply and offshore demand and encourage joint action among external trade stakeholders.

“The last serious strategy aimed specifically at external trade was published in the early 2000s by the last Parti Québécois government. We therefore felt it was time to devote our efforts and resources to this essential segment of our economy, which is an immensely important creator of wealth and jobs,” said the Minister.

Québec’s strengths

The government intends to give Québec a strong economic brand that is recognized and considered by investors and buyers the world over. Its priorities will include promoting competitiveness, innovation, the quality of the workforce and infrastructures as well as the ease of doing business in Québec. Québec is set to be highly competitive in niche sectors of excellence such as research and innovation, electrification of transportation, green energy and mining.

The mining sector accounts for 2.7% of Québec’s gross domestic product (GDP), or approximately 25% of Québec exports, and generates tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs throughout Québec. The government intends to assist 2,500 mining equipment suppliers in promoting Québec expertise abroad.

Priority export markets

While the United States will remain the principal destination for our exports, special attention will be paid to emerging economies. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are responsible for nearly 40% of the growth in Québec exports. Québec is also well positioned to benefit from the economic boom in Africa, which is experiencing its longest period of expansion in sixty years.

The geographic proximity of Mexico and the strong demand for high value added products there also makes it a prime market. Likewise, with the economic and trade agreement with the European Union, Québec is also poised to develop its trade relations with a number of EU countries.

The ETDP was unveiled in a joint ceremony with the Montréal Council of International Relations (CORIM) and the Québec Manufacturers and Exporters Association (MEQ) before an audience of over 450 business people. Representatives of Québec’s economic partners, members of Export Québec’s advisory committee and the heads of post of Québec’s foreign diplomatic network were also in attendance.

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Source :
Caroline Julie Fortin
Press Attachée of the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade
Telephone : 418 649-2319

Information :
Natalie Archambault
Direction des communications et des affaires publiques
Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
Telephone : 418 649-2400, ext. 57193

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