While in Rio de Janeiro during his mission to Brazil, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met with city officials and the state governor. Following the discussions, Minister Arcand confirmed that city officials are open to working with Québec companies and agencies interested in contributing to Rio’s development in anticipation of the major events scheduled to take place there: the 2011 Military World Games, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The City of Rio plans to invest about $15 billion in infrastructure for the events. Following his meetings, Arcand said that he was pleased to learn that environmental quality and sustainable development in the region will be major criteria for selecting projects. “Clearly, Québec companies will be able to bank on these aspects in their proposals,” he said.
The Governor of Rio suggested that Québec and the State of Rio de Janeiro draft a formal cooperation agreement in the areas of the economy, health sciences, the environment, science and technology, occupational training and the social economy.
Minister Arcand also took the opportunity to offer Québec’s support for ensuring the presence and quality of French at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. As it did for the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008, Québec has invited the Organizing Committee to sign an agreement allowing young Québec translation trainees to collaborate on translations in order to ensure the quality of French, one of the Olympics’ official languages, during the Games. The Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse (OQAJ) would look after coordinating this aspect of collaboration with Brazil.
Pierre Arcand is currently in Curitiba for the first meeting of a Paraná-Québec joint cooperation committee. He will wrap up his mission in São Paulo. Trade between Québec and Brazil totalled $2 billion in 2008, up $900 million over the figure for 2004.
Québec Government Office in São Paulo