Minister St-Pierre’s successful mission in the United States included support for a delegation of businesses, the signing of an agreement in the cultural sector and confirmation of renewed collaboration between Québec and its partner regions
ATLANTA, June 3, 2014 - Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, views her participation in the 7th Conference of Heads of Government and Partner Regions in Atlanta, Georgia as a success. During her mission, Minister St-Pierre participated in over 15 economic and diplomatic activities and supported 20 participating Québec aerospace and logistics companies in their market development efforts. Minister St-Pierre also took advantage of her visit to Atlanta, a major logistics hub in the southern United States, to put in a good word with foreign decision-makers and investors about Québec’s Maritime Strategy, a promising development project that will make Québec a key centre for transatlantic freight traffic.
" The Maritime Strategy will allow Québec to explore its full maritime potential in a responsible manner and in a context of growing international trade. It will allow for the economic development of coastal regions and safe, green maritime transportation, and create opportunities for the tourism and cruise ship industries. It will promote research and development in marine and environmental technologies, as well as the creation of a highly-skilled workforce. In short, the Maritime Strategy will give Québec a much broader global outlook," explained Minister St-Pierre.
Business partnership development
Supporting Québec businesses was a key component of the mission. In fact, Québec businesses and their business partners from Georgia and South Carolina took part in the many networking activities that were held in conjunction with the Conference. “Trade between Québec and the southern United States totalled over $19.5 billion in 2013, up 14.7% from 2012. In recent years, we have made good use of the partnerships that we developed across this territory to explore new business avenues in promising industries with solid partners. We firmly intend to continue supporting Québec's exporters in an effort to create an increasingly prosperous Québec and an advanced economy that is connected to the most dynamic regions of the world,” stated Minister St-Pierre.
With the sixth largest aerospace industry in the world, Québec is definitely a top competitor in the fields of aerospace and logistics. It accounts for 55% of Canada’s total sales in the industry and approximately 70% of Canada’s research and development (R&D) investments. Québec’s logistics industry employs 150,000 people at 12,000 different establishments and contributes over $11 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP).
Strengthening our bilateral relations
Minister St-Pierre also participated in meetings with members from Partner Regions, including Bavaria (Germany), the Western Cape (South Africa), Georgia (United States), Upper Austria (Austria) and Shandong (China). She was pleased with the constructive discussions that ensued from them and reaffirmed the importance of dialogue and cooperation between regional governments.
During the meeting with her Bavarian counterpart, Minister St-Pierre gave assurances that the Québec government would renew the joint declaration on collaboration in implementing the Plan Nord signed in April 2012. Furthermore, Minister St-Pierre attended the signing of an agreement between Québec and Upper Austria that will allow artist-in-residence exchanges between the two provinces. The agreement reaffirms the importance of promoting Québec culture as part of its international activities.
Multilateral cooperation in focus
During the final day of the Conference, Minister St-Pierre presented the Québec government’s priorities to attending experts and government representatives. She took the opportunity to officially invite the Renewable Energies, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Global Network (Rede ER) to hold its next international meeting in Québec. This event, which will be attended by experts from the Member States of the Partner Regions, will provide an opportunity to develop new joint initiatives in promising industries, highlight Québec's leadership in renewable energies and showcase the excellence, expertise and quality of Québec’s infrastructures.
The Conference ended with the signing of a final declaration on decisive items for future cooperation between the Member States of the Partner Regions. In the declaration, members reiterate their firm commitment to improve the welfare of their respective populations by sharing expertise and best practices.
“The Conference is a network that enables seven Regional States on four different continents to take part in an extraordinary experience, forge alliances and partnerships, collectively defend their interests and develop bilateral, mutually profitable relations. Federated States, and large regions, often possess considerable resources, powers and expertise. For that very reason, it is in our interest to share our best practices," concluded Minister St-Pierre.
The next Conference of Heads of Government of Partner Regions will be held in Bavaria in 2016.
The mission schedules of Minister St-Pierre and participating Québec businesses are included in the appendix to this press release.
7th Conference of Heads of Government of Partner Regions
|Sunday, June 1, 2014|
|PM||Round table with businesses|
|PM||Meeting with Beate Merk, Bavarian Minister for European Affairs and International Relations|
|Evening||Visit to the Upper Austria photography exhibition|
|Evening||Networking activity between Bavarian and Québec businesses|
|Monday, June 2, 2014|
|AM||Meeting with Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia|
|AM||Meeting with Josef Pühringer, Minister-President of Upper Austria, and signing of an agreement between the CALQ and Upper Austria on artist-in-residence exchanges|
|AM||Meeting with Guo Shuqing, Governor of Shandong|
|AM||Meeting with Steve Brereton, Canada’s Consul General in Atlanta|
|PM||Meeting with Ivan Meyer, Minister of Finance of the Western Cape|
|PM||Visit to Lockheed Martin’s facilities|
|Tuesday, June 3, 2014|
|AM||Opening plenary sessions|
|AM||Report on the expert meeting to discuss "the economic impacts of major sporting events”|
|AM||Report on the expert meeting to discuss “global changes in logistics supply chains”|
|AM||Opening statements by the delegation heads of every region|
|AM||Discussions between delegation heads|
|AM||Signing of the Final Declaration|
|AM||Final press conference|
Québec Business Schedule
|Sunday, June 1, 2014|
|PM||Round table with Minister St-Pierre||Round table with Minister St-Pierre|
|PM||Preparatory sessions for the meetings|
|Evening||Networking activity with Bavarian businesses|
|Monday, June 2, 2014|
|AM||Visit to Lockheed Martin’s facilities and meeting with its representatives||Visit to the Savannah’s port facilities and meeting with port authorities|
|AM||Visit to Savannah manufacturers’ warehouses|
|Tuesday, June 3, 2014|
|AM||Visit to BOEING’s facilities and meeting with its representatives||Visit to the Dorel Distribution Center and meeting with its representatives|
|Minister||Minister’s staff||MRIF||MEIE||Québec Government Office in Atlanta (DQA)||Experts from Québec||Representatives of the aeronautics and logistics sectors|
Total number of participants : 37
Companies and organizations represented for the commercial component
|Alta Precision||Canadian National (CN)|
|Avior||CLD Marguerite d'Youville|
|Delastek||CLD Vaudreuil Soulanges|
|FDC Composites||LS Distribution|
|Gal Aviation||Port of Montréal|
|LG Cloutier||Port of Québec City|
|M1 Composites||Port of Trois-Rivières|
|Meloche||City of Contrecoeur|
|NTS Consulting||City of Montréal|
|PCM Innovation||CLD Rousillon|
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