Québec Premier receives new US Ambassador to Canada

QUÉBEC CITY, May 27, 2014 - Philippe Couillard, the Premier of Québec, held talks with His Excellency Bruce A. Heyman, the new Ambassador of the United States to Canada.

“The United States is Québec’s number one trading partner. In the coming years, our government is keen to maintain this long-lasting, prosperous and mutually beneficial relationship. Québec’s wealth of expertise in a broad range of areas is a source of strength with tremendous potential. Mr. Heyman and I had a clear-headed discussion on current relations between Québec and the United States and on what we could accomplish in the near future,” said the Premier.

The total value of trade with the United States in 2013 totalled CAN $75.9 billion, i.e., CAN $46.3 billion in exports and CAN $29.6 billion in imports. The United States remains the largest source of direct foreign investment in Québec. Approximately 45% of the 1,300 foreign subsidiaries in Québec, i.e., 585 companies, are owned by American companies and provide some 100,000 jobs.

Mr. Couillard took advantage of the meeting to present two of Québec’s core economic projects: the Plan Nord Plus and the Maritime Strategy. He also promoted Québec hydroelectricity as an alternative for diversifying the energy sources of the North-eastern states. The Premier emphasized that hydroelectricity from Québec would help decrease the dependence of these states on fossil fuels, stabilize electricity prices and help in the fight against climate change.

Continental security and fluid trade between the United States and Québec were also part of the lively exchange of views between the two men.

“Québec SMEs are at the forefront of Québec’s economic development. Through creativity, innovation and our skilled workforce, we can provide quality products and services on every continent. Lasting relationships are built on mutual confidence. Our government intends to strengthen bilateral trade to ensure that our markets can co-exist in the best interests of consumers and workers,” concluded the Premier.

Ambassador Heyman also took advantage of his visit to Québec to meet with several Québec ministers, including Jacques Daoust, the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, Christine St-Pierre, the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, and Pierre Arcand, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan.

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