Québec Premier Jean Charest kicked off his official trip to Europe in Davos, Switzerland in late January. Seeking to promote the proposed economic partnership between Canada and the European Union (EU), Mr. Charest reiterated the potential benefits of such an agreement in the present economic environment and stressed the need to resist the lure of protectionism.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, has said that he is very pleased with his discussions in Paris during the first leg of his mission to Europe.
Following his appointment as Québec’s new Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie in December 2008, Pierre Arcand accompanied the Premier on his official visit to Europe. During his first stop, Mr. Arcand met with government ministers and held discussions with Québec’s European partners in the EU capital of Brussels on February 4 and 5.
Québec was on board when the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the IBUKI satellite on January 23. A team of specialists from ABB Analytical in Québec City developed a major component, crucial for the success of the space research project. At the request of NEC-Toshiba, the project’s main supplier, the team designed and perfected an interferometer. Valued at $10M, the contract is a boon for one of Québec’s high technology sectors.
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, gave a positive report on environmental actions undertaken in 2008. The accomplishments demonstrate Québec’s leadership role in sustainable development.
The Americana 2009 International Environmental Technology Trade Show is a world class event that promotes technical, scientific and commercial exchanges in the various environmental sectors. Nearly 10,000 participants from Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia are expected to attend the Show’s 8th edition taking place from March 17 to 19 at Montréal’s Palais des congrès.
Marking the conclusion of her mission to the UK, including stops in Glasgow (Scotland) and London, Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, provided an upbeat assessment of the meetings she attended and reiterated her firm conviction that maintaining and strengthening Québec’s cultural links with the UK is of the utmost importance. Accompanied by Québec’s Agent-General in London, Pierre Boulanger, and by various cultural attachés from Québec’s Government Office in London, the Minister met with a number of senior officials with a view to promoting Québec’s cultural interests.
Close to 100 people, including a number of representatives of Québec companies and research centres, attended the official signing of a cooperation agreement between NanoQuébec and Nagano Techno Foundation, in Nagano on February 16. The agreement is aimed at promoting nanotechnology development. The Délégation générale du Québec à Tokyo (Québec government office in Tokyo) was also represented at the signing ceremony, held during Nanotechnology Week in Japan.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, will be in New York City and Washington D.C. this week to establish initial contacts with U.S. political, economic and institutional communities. The visit comes barely a month after the inauguration of the new American administration, as Québec and the U.S. endeavour to deal with the effects of the global economic crisis.
Created in 1999, the Hector Fabre award provides recognition for a regional organization that has deployed a project with an international impact for its region. This year, to underline the tenth anniversary of the Hector Fabre award, the Ministère des Relations internationales will also present the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins award to an individual whose achievements are recognized beyond Québec’s borders. The application deadline for both awards is April 13.
Some 90 guest speakers and 500 participants from a dozen countries will be converging on Sherbrooke in June for the International Forum on Integrated Water Management. The Ministère des Relations internationales is associated with the event, which will be an opportunity for experts, economic stakeholders and political decision-makers to discuss water management issues in a setting conducive to the development of international partnerships.
The Centre d’études collégiales Baie-des-Chaleurs recently received a UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre Award. The Ministère des Relations internationales takes pride in the announcement of this distinction recognizing the contributions that have been made by an institution in Québec to further UNESCO’s educational development and technical and vocational training goals.
On his way home from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos and Paris, where he was decorated with the insignia of the Legion of Honour, the Premier of Québec, Jean Charest, stopped in Brussels on February 4 and 5.
Heads of the Francophonie center of the Americas (CFA) and Reporters Without Borders (RWB), accompanied by a representative from the Ministère des Relations internationales, took part in a fact-finding mission in Haiti from January 27 to February 3 to assess the feasibility of projects there. The Québec delegation visited the Gonaives region and the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.