On January 29, Premier Jean Charest, accompanied by Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Clément Gignac, concluded a three-day mission to Davos, Switzerland, during which they participated in the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“Québec has come through the economic crisis and is now preparing to capitalize on the recovery and to continue to make its mark in the world economy. Our presence at the Forum in Davos enabled Québec to be where the main global trends take shape and the planet’s decision makers come together to talk about the economy. Québec was more present than ever there”, Mr. Charest said.
The theme of the 40th edition of the WEF was Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign and Rebuild. The Premier notably took the floor as a special guest in the workshop on stimulating the economy through labour mobility. In his address, he lauded the merits of the France-Québec Understanding on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, under which Québec, as a federated State, acts as a world pioneer in labour mobility. Mr. Charest also discussed the draft global economic and commercial partnership accord between Canada and the European Union that is currently being negotiated.
The WEF took on a very particular tone this year, in the context of the Haitian crisis following the earthquake on January 12. A special workshop, in which the Premier participated, was devoted to the Haitian issue, particularly from the standpoint of the key role that businesses can and must play in rebuilding Haiti. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was among the special guests at the workshop.
The Premier met with the CEO of the Climate Group, Steve Howard, and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo De Boer, in order to take stock with them of the aftermath of the Copenhagen Summit. Among the topics discussed were the actions taken by Québec to fight climate change, recognition of the role of federated States in greenhouse gas reduction, and Québec’s participation in the EV20 initiative, which is aimed at bringing together the States and organizations involved in developing an electric vehicle, in order to accelerate the development of that market.
Meetings of an economic nature
Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Clément Gignac multiplied, with the Premier, the meetings with the heads of large enterprises and leaders in the business world in order to promote Québec’s assets, both as an economic partner and as an excellent site for investment in North America.
Davos World Economic Forum