Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, met with key political and economic stakeholders in Chicago on May 14 and 15, in line with the Government of Québec's new US strategy, which is currently being developed. This was Mr. Arcand’s third visit south of the border and his first to the state of Illinois, Québec’s seventh largest trading partner in the US.
Left to right: Tim Eder, Executive Director, Great Lakes Commission, David Naftzger, Executive Director, Council of Great Lakes Governors, Minister Pierre Arcand, David Ullrich, Executive Director, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Marc T. Boucher, Québec Government representative in Chicago. Photo : DQC
“Chicago is the gateway to the Midwest, to which Québec exports more than CA$11 billion in goods and services every year. In addition to forging stronger ties with this region, I intend to discuss a range of strategic issues for Québec, particularly in the areas of sustainable development, climate change and the economy,” said Mr. Arcand.
The Minister also held discussions with Robert Finkel, founder of the highly regarded Illinois Venture Capital Association, aimed at highlighting Québec’s competitive advantages in terms of legal and regulatory requirements and to attracting new investment.
Mr. Arcand was also scheduled to meet with representatives of the Chicago Climate Exchange, one of the world’s environmental market pioneers. This provided an opportunity to outline Québec’s efforts in connection with the greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program and to emphasize the partnership between the Montreal and Chicago Climate Exchanges.
During a meeting with Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Historic Sites and state representative on the Great Lakes Commission, Mr. Arcand discussed the various programs implemented by the Obama administration with a view to reinvigorating the Midwest economy. He also set out the Government of Québec’s vision and approach with respect to the US, including issues surrounding hydroelectricity. Finally, he invited Mr. Miller to Québec as part of the Foreign Dignitaries Program.
As part of the Government of Québec’s efforts to develop a new US strategy, Mr. Arcand will be travelling to New York and Washington, DC, where he is slated to meet with the heads of Québec’s government offices in the US prior to attending the Canadian-American Business Council conference.
Québec Government Office in Chicago