The summer season is now in full swing, bringing with it the promise of sunshine, picnics and hard-earned vacations. Since I last wrote to you all, the Delegation has been involved in a number of activities across a range of sectors.
In March, the Delegation welcomed a delegation of Québec companies working in the food and drink sector to the UK on a trade mission to IFE (the International Food & Drink Event) 2017. Members of the Québec cohort, including nine businesses, exhibited a selection of the best of Québec’s gastronomic specialties, participated in B2B sessions and met buyers from several prominent British organisations.
In April, the Government of Québec unveiled its new International Policy, entitled ‘Québec on the world stage: involved, engaged, thriving’. The policy aims to promote Québec’s commercial, cultural, economic, political and social image and development. As announced in the Québec Economic Plan, an additional $100 million over 5 years will be invested in Québec’s international action.
In May, the Delegation welcomed two ministerial missions. In the first instance, Minister for Maritime Affairs Jean D’Amour undertook a mission to Iceland and the UK, during which he sought to better understand and take inspiration from best practices in the field of value-added marine resources and biotechnologies sector. Minister D’Amour also met with representatives of the International Maritime Organization and OSPAR, and gave a keynote speech at the opening of European Maritime Day, entitled ‘The Future of our Seas’, at the invitation of the European Commission.
In the second instance, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord Pierre Arcand undertook a mission to London. Minister Arcand met various investors interested in developing the mining potential of Québec’s northern regions and addressed a luncheon organised by the Canada – United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, which brought together some one hundred people interested in the Plan Nord.
Finally, in June, the Delegation had the pleasure of celebrating Québec’s National Day on two separate occasions. On Thursday 22th June, the Delegation welcomed key members of London’s business, cultural and diplomatic communities to celebrate Québec, as well as the diversity and strength of relations between Québec and the UK. This year’s reception also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Québec’s ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie. To commemorate this milestone, I awarded the Médaille du 50ème anniversaire to the British Council, a key partner in the development of academic and cultural relations between Québec and the UK for over 30 years. The medal was accepted by Chair of the British Council Mr. Christopher Rodrigues CBE. On Saturday 24th June, the Delegation travelled to Juju’s Bar and Stage in Shoreditch, where Quebeckers in London and members of the general public congregated to celebrate our Fête nationale. Attendees were able to savour the gastronomic delights of The Poutinerie and enjoy the talents of Québec country-folk singer-songwriter Jessica Pruneau who gave a series of live performances.
This coming August, an impressive selection of Québec artists will be participating in the Edinburgh Festivals. I invite you to consult our website over the coming weeks for details of all the performances and festivities.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic summer.