Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, is undertaking an official visit to China from October 9-17. He is accompanied by a large delegation of approximately 50 people representing Québec companies and institutions, together with environmental and IT researchers and representatives of the tourism sector and the Centre for the International Promotion of Québec Public Expertise (CIPQPE).
The delegation will take part in a series of environmental forums in Beijing, Shanghai and Jinan (the capital of Shandong province, with which Québec signed a cooperation agreement in August 2008). These forums will provide Mr. Arcand with a unique opportunity to promote Québec’s sustainable development and green technology expertise.
“The Chinese government recently announced that it will be investing 1,000 billion yuan (approximately CDN$170 billion) over the next three years to protect the environment and that it is committed to reducing domestic energy consumption by 20% within five years. In light of this announcement, this visit is of strategic importance for Québec. We aim to position ourselves as a sustainable development leader,” said the Minister.
Pierre Arcand is scheduled to visit the site of the future City of Montréal pavilion at the Shanghai Universal Exhibition in 2010. For the first time in the history of these events, an exhibit will be dedicated to the best urban planning practices. The Montréal pavilion will showcase Québec’s unique expertise in the areas of sustainable development and innovative environmental technology—a key sector in China’s development. Next year also marks the 25th anniversary of Montréal’s twin city relationship with Shanghai.
As part of the official program of activities, Mr. Arcand and the other members of the delegation will meet with key Chinese stakeholders with a view to emphasizing the importance of bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of education and research.