Gouvernement du Québec
Menu
Back to homeStockholm

Previous page

An Unparalleled Business Environment

Québec’s economy is creative, innovative, competitive and open to the world.

Investing in Québec means benefitting from a competitive fiscal environment with low installation and operation costs. Find out more about the advantages of investing in Québec(French only).

For more information, contact Investissement Québec.

Strategically positioned between Europe and America

As a natural gateway to North America, Québec enjoys privileged access to a market of more than 490 million consumers through its participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A dynamic economic environment

For more information about economic initiatives, consult the following Websites (in French only):

A workforce with extraordinary creativity

Québec excels in multiple industries thanks, in part, to specialized expertise and a skilled workforce. Québec’s know-how and prodigious creativity are recognized worldwide.

A specialized and highly skilled workforce

The Québec workforce is made up of skilled, educated and experienced workers:

  • 86 % of Québec’s population holds a secondary or post-secondary degree
  • 29 % of the population holds a certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree or graduate diploma.

A multilingual population

A population with a mastery of several languages:

  • 43 % of Québec’s population (3.5 million people) speaks French and English
  • Montréal, one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world, is a culturally rich cosmopolitan metropolis.

An abundant pool of talent and ressources to be tapped

Québec benefits from a high concentration of expertise owing to a strong network of colleges and universities and an extensive research infrastructure in strategic areas.

Sectors of excellence

 
 
 
 
 

ICT

Aerospace

Québec: a visionary and innovative leader of the aerospace industry

The aerospace industry is a source of great pride for Québec. Its accomplishments and the reputation it has earned in Canada and around the world reflect the know-how of Quebecers and their ability to carve out a plsace for themselves in the high tech sector.

Profile

Québec’s aerospace industry, ranked sixth in the world for the size of its workforce, is, without argument, one of the jewels in the crown of Québec’s economy.

  • Nearly 200 companies, including some fifteen contractors and front-line suppliers, and 180 SMEs (sub-contractors and product manufacturers)
  • In 2015, 40,160 jobs and sales of $15.5 billion, with 6.6% average growth in sales every year since 1990
  • Approximately 50% of total aerospace industry sales in Canada
  • Over 70% of Canada’s aerospace R&D carried out in the Greater Montréal Area
  • Over 80% of Québec’s production destined for export

Strengths

The strength of Québec’s aerospace industry lies in the sheer number of world-class contractors and equipment manufacturers established here.

Many are global leaders in the products they manufacture in Québec:

  • Bombardier, business and commercial aviation
  • Bell Helicopter, civil helicopters
  • CAE, flight simulators and training
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada, engines for regional and business aircraft and for helicopters

Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of top-notch contractors and equipment manufacturers active in such a broad range of fields (avionics, landing gear, systems integration, space-based systems, and others), which explains why Montréal is among the top global aerospace hubs, alongside Seattle and Toulouse.

A highly qualified workforce

Québec’s aerospace industry boasts a highly qualified and diverse workforce. Québec is also home to schools and colleges offering specialized training, as well as six universities with aerospace programs.

An excellent network of SMEs

An array of small and medium-sized businesses, including subcontractors and suppliers, offer a wide variety of specialty products and services ranging from parts machining, surface treatments, composite materials, and shot peening to rapid prototyping, hydraulics, avionics, electro-optics, and highly sophisticated software.

A sampling of innovative products

  • The CSeries aircraft designed and assembled in Québec by Bombardier features some of the most cutting-edge technological breakthroughs. For example, it is the most environmentally friendly airplane in its category thanks to its low energy consumption: 2 liters of fuel per passenger per 100 km.
  • Pilots employed by the main commercial airlines train in CAE flight simulators, while air traffic controllers learn on Adacel control tower simulators.
  • The air data computers manufactured by Montréal-based Air Data are the component of choice for a number of American and European unmanned aircraft system manufacturers.

International aviation organizations

Montréal is home to several major international aviation organizations:

  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Société internationale de télécommunications aéronautiques (SITA)
  • International Business Aviation Council (IBAC)
  • Airports Council International (ACI)

Contact us

To find out more about Québec’s aerospace industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Agri-foods

Québec invites you to the table
A rich and distinctive range of food products

With its fertile soil, vast forests, remarkable marine environment, abundant natural resources, and temperate climate, Québec is the perfect setting for a flourishing and modern food industry. Today, the province is home to some 32,000 businesses that employ more than 121,000 people in the agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, and food processing industries.

Québec has a reputation around the globe as a supplier of healthy, high quality products infused with a mix of European and North American influences. Its distinctive and diverse product offerings range from specialty foods created by family-run businesses to products from industry giants.

Indeed, Québec products are enjoyed all over the world :

  • Pork, beef, and poultry
  • Soy and other oil plants
  • Fish and seafood
  • Produce
  • Chocolate and candies
  • Maple products
  • Pasta and bakery products
  • Prepared foods
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Game meats and fowl
  • European-inspired charcuterie, including pâtés, cured meats, and duck foie gras
  • Fine cheeses
  • Other specialty products

Always on the lookout for new market trends, Québec’s food industry offers consumers an ever-growing range of foods with internationally recognized certifications, including certified organic, fairtrade, halal and kosher.

A modern and safe food industry

Québec has implemented stringent traceability, quality control, and monitoring measures. Businesses in the food industry work in concert with the government to integrate state-of-the-art production and processing technologies and adopt strict sanitary and environmental standards.

A strategic location

Most Québec food businesses are located close to the Canada–U.S. border and are integrated into the continental North American market. They can deliver their products by truck, serving a market of over 130 million consumers within a 620 miles (1,000-kilometre) radius.

A globally oriented industry

Québec has long been a hub for merchandise of all types from Europe, Asia, and North America. Whatever the season, marine, road, rail and air links ensure that goods are delivered quickly and at competitive prices.

Export markets are a source of growth for Québec’s agri-food businesses. In 2013, 55% of final sales from agricultural production and biofood processing in Québec were made outside of the province. In 2014, international sales reached seven billion dollars. The taste of Québec know-how is appreciated in more than 160 countries, including the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

This achievement reflects the speed and flexibility that businesses have shown in their efforts to satisfy consumers all over the globe.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s agri-food industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Aluminium

The expertise of Québec’s world-class aluminium industry permeates its entire value chain:

  • Aluminium processors
  • Equipment manufacturers and specialized suppliers
  • Primary aluminium producers
  • Innovators
  • Industry organizations

Industry leader

A key industry sector for Québec:

  • 4th primary aluminium producer in the world
  • 2.7 million tonnes produced in 2015, more than 65% of North American production
  • $7.1 billion in exports
  • 30,000 quality jobs in nearly 1,500 companies

A forward-thinking strategy

Québec is the first jurisdiction to implement a comprehensive strategy aimed at growing aluminium’s value chain and raising its profile. The Québec Aluminium Development Strategy pursues ambitious goals, such as doubling processing output by 2025.

The greenest aluminium in the world

Thanks to hydroelectric power generation, Québec companies have access to a local aluminium supply with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

More information is available at the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation website.

Contact us

To find out more about Québec’s aluminium industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Furniture

Québec’s Furniture Industry

Québec’s furniture industry includes all the businesses involved in the manufacture of furniture, kitchen cabinets and counters, display cases, partitions, shelving and lockers, mattresses, blinds, and shutters.

The furniture industry is one of Québec’s biggest manufacturing employers, and is characterized by its labour-intensive nature, its presence in virtually every region of Québec, and by the fact that most of the companies are Québec-owned. Over 40% of total production is destined for markets outside Québec, of which 95% is exported to the U.S.

With the economic recovery in the United States, as well as the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar and the growth in the size of the American market, the current economic landscape south of the border is highly favourable to Québec exporters. A number of states are experiencing a real estate boom, both residential and commercial, and the industry’s priority is to enhance the visibility of our companies.

Given the type of goods and the logistics involved in shipping and in renting space at the various trade shows, the penetration of new export markets can require considerable investments for manufacturers.

The industry is well represented by two main associations:

  • Association des fabricants et détaillants de l’industrie de la cuisine du Québec (AFDICQ)
  • Québec Furniture Manufacturers’ Association (QFMA)

It is worth mentioning the important role QFMA plays on the Canadian scene since the association is the owner and producer of the Canadian Furniture Show held annually in Toronto. Canada’s only furniture show, the event showcases the country’s know-how by bringing together manufacturers, retailers and other industry professionals from across Canada, the United States and overseas to present the latest collections and trends. It is where purchasing decisions are made for the entire industry.

Contact us

To find out more about Québec’s furniture industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Construction

An industry with a solid foundation

Québec’s harsh and intense climate has shaped the character of its construction sector and enabled it to develop unique expertise. The sector’s ability to adapt techniques is currently matched only by its capacity to design increasingly efficient products and materials.

Daring to think outside the box with the goal of excelling and exporting expertise is the norm in this creative environment. Stakeholders in this Québec-based industry have built a solid reputation both at home and abroad.

A creative environment where daring to think outside the box is the norm

  • A multitude of world-class consulting engineering companies, major architectural firms, construction companies and building materials manufacturers that export their know-how and products throughout the world.
  • Home to many research centres and experts in the field.

Creativity that leads to results

The “green building” concept has prompted the construction industry to perfect new materials and products that are more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

Insulating materials, membranes, exterior siding, high energy efficient windows, heat recovery fans and geothermal heating systems are among the products that have earned Québec its reputation for excellence.

Québec wood is a wise environmental choice as a building material since it is renewable, recyclable and has a low environmental footprint. In addition, forests are managed in accordance with sustainable forest management principles. The use of wood in Québec is a technology that has been mastered as a result of know-how stemming from a long tradition. Recognized for their resilience, extensive availability and distinctive species, Québec wood products are easily adaptable to all types of projects and bring high added value from both a structural and visual perspective.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s construction industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Industrial design

A strategic tool for competitiveness

Design is an important innovation factor in Québec. More specifically, this sector has led to the development of many unique products. Montréal has been part of the UNESCO City of design network since 2006.

A stimulating environment

Québec’s focus on industrial design allows it to innovate and stand out in local and international markets.

The industrial design industry has enabled many businesses to increase their creativity, diversify their product lines and develop a culture of quality.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s industrial design industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Energy

High voltage expertise

The Québec energy sector is recognized for its renewable energy sources.

Despite its modest population of eight million, Québec is the world’s fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity. The production cost of this renewable energy resource is among the lowest in North America.

Bioenergy

Québec has approximately 230 MW of installed capacity for energy production from forest biomass and more than 50 MW from biogas. Six new projects, totalling 145 MW are slated to be operational by 2015.

Research and innovation

Several research centres in Québec work to support innovation and the growth of companies in the energy sector, including:

  • Hydro-Québec’s Electricity Research Institute (IREQ): the largest utility-run research institute in North America
  • the Hydrogen Research Institute (HRI), specializing in research on hydrogen production and storage.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s energy industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Environment

In terms of the environment, Québec primarily seeks to:

  • reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
  • increase its capacity to adapt to the potential impacts of climate change.

Québec is among the world’s economies with the strictest environmental protection standards, with an eye to sustainable development.

A responsible environment

  • Recognized expertise in sectors such as mining, aluminium smelting, agriculture, pulp and paper and hydroelectricity fosters the export of Québec’s know-how and technologies throughout the world.
  • In collaboration with California, Québec created the largest cross-border carbon market in North America. Since the harmonization and full integration of the Québec and California markets on January 1, 2014, many companies have been active in the carbon market, thereby contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s environment industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Fashion industry

Fashion and apparel

A key industry for Québec and Montréal

Montréal is one of North America’s foremost clothing production centres, along with Los Angeles and New York. The Montréal fashion industry stands out internationally for its product innovation, design and marketing.

Québec boasts a large and diverse pool of successful companies involved in the manufacture, design, marketing and distribution of apparel products.

A creative environment

  • A new, industry-wide metropolitan fashion cluster (mmode) created in 2015.
  • Extensive R&D potential as a result of two technology transfer centres (CTT and Vestechpro).
  • A large and diverse pool of successful companies and support resources – educational institutions, industrial associations, marketing organizations, research facilities, etc. – that make up the fashion and clothing industry.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s fashion and apparel industry, contact the consumer goods specialist:
Mireille Bérard
514-499-2199 ext. 3111
Mireille.berard@economie.gouv.qc.ca

Montréal Collections

Under the name Montréal Collections, all Québec Offices abroad involved in the Fashion industry, promote Montréal fashion and business creativity in selected potential markets throughout the world.

One of the main roles of Montréal Collections is to put retail buyers and representatives in contact with Québec manufacturers of women's, men's and children's wear.

For up-to-the-minute information, consult our Montréal Collections Facebook page.

Research and innovation

Québec is a remarkable research and innovation powerhouse.

According to the most recent statistics, Québec devoted 2.32% of its GDP to R&D in 2013, the highest rate of any Canadian province. Québec is booming and is well positioned in the global scientific community. Indeed, the Québec population accounts for 0.1% of the world’s population, but Québec researchers participate in 1.0% of scientific publications at the international level.

A standout environment

  • The highest number of researchers per thousand people employed in Canada: 10.2 per 1,000 (2013 data).
  • A leader in numerous fields and in tune with global trends, Québec possesses a rich pool of talent and natural resources.
  • With 18 universities, several of which stand out in international rankings, Québec trains a highly skilled workforce.
  • Québec offers one of the most generous tax credit programs in the world.

A dynamic and sustainable environment

  • A number of policies have been put in place to support the development of growth sectors and the emergence of new leading-edge sectors. The Québec government is proactive to ensure that it remains a frontrunner among knowledge economies.
  • The cutting-edge research infrastructure that exists throughout Québec benefits from massive investments.
  • The excellence of public research, including that of educational institutions, and its interaction with the vitality of Québec’s business community create a synergy that fosters and promotes a strong culture of innovation and a highly competitive business environment.
  • Indeed, collaborative endeavours are the centrepiece of Québec’s vision of development. It should be added that Québec boasts various sectoral industrial research groups and pre-competitive research consortiums. It is also integrated into the main international research networks, and its researchers benefit from bilateral agreements with partners in various countries.

Contact us

For more information on research and innovation in Québec, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Life Sciences

Québec is one of the few places in the world where a company can carry out all stages of development for a drug or medical device, from basic research right up to marketing. Strong synergy is created by the vitality of research centres, funding agencies, and partnerships with companies that develop, test and design technologies and innovative medical products.

The life sciences industry in Québec:

  • More than 400 companies are active in basic research, manufacturing, biotechnology, contract research and medical technology.
  • The sector employs 25,500 highly qualified people.
  • World-class research centres stand out for their major scientific breakthroughs.
  • Several international companies, such as Pfizer, Sanofi and Merck, have established their Canadian headquarters in Québec.
  • More than 20 public and university-based research centres.
  • Affordable costs, easy access to patients, a high level of medical expertise and a population willing to participate in clinical trials: all these advantages make Québec a veritable goldmine for clinical research.

Québec boasts several sectors of excellence for which the expertise of the labour force and researchers is renowned. Areas of excellence recognized worldwide: cancer, genetics, genomics and proteomics, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neuroscience and mental health, personalized health care, aging, implants and biomaterials, medical imaging and radiography, and in vitro diagnosis.

The life sciences industry is concentrated in three major clusters of excellence

Montréal :

  • 600 establishments, including 150 public and university-based research organizations
  • Among the top-ranking cities in North America owing to its highly competitive operating costs in life sciences and medical technology: a cost-benefit of 24% (KPMG 2016)
  • Areas of excellence recognized worldwide: cancer, genetics, genomics and proteomics, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neuroscience and mental health, personalized healthcare, aging

Québec City:

  • 150 companies
  • 85 research centres, chairs, groups and institutes
  • Areas of excellence: advanced expertise in biopharmaceuticals and diagnostics, natural health products (cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals), medical and health-related information technology

Sherbrooke :

  • Research and industrial fabric specializing in aging and rehabilitation
  • Sherbrooke University Pole, Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT), Research Centre on Aging (RCA),

Contact us

To learn more about the life sciences industry in Québec, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Information and Communication Technologies

Québec: fertile ground for information and communication technologies.

During the 2000s, Québec established its reputation in information technology services thanks in large part to the expertise and stability of its workforce. Québec currently stands out in emerging and extremely promising niches such as video games, animation, special effects, Web services and mobile applications

A knowledge-rich environment

  • Nearly 7,000 companies that employ over 180,000 people.
  • Québec’s electronic game industry represents roughly 80 companies specializing in development, publishing, production services, software and interactive applications. Close to 9,000 people are employed by these companies.

Research and innovation

Home to several centres and groups dedicated to industrial research, including:

  • The National Optics Institute (INO)
  • The Québec Centre for Industrial Research (CRIQ)
  • The Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM)
  • The Partnerships for Research on Microelectronics, Photonics and Telecommunications (PROMPT)
  • The Society for Arts and Technology (SAT)
  • Numerous College Centres for the Transfer of Technologies (CCTT)

Photonics Industry

Québec’s photonics industry has over 110 companies employing more than 6,200 highly skilled workers. Industry sales are estimated at $760 million per year.

Québec’s photonics industry is extremely innovative. In this regard, it relies on six universities and research institutes, as well as on some 40 laboratories. The following are among the most important: National Optics Institute (INO), Defence Research and Development Canada - Research Centre at Valcartier (DRDC Valcartier) and the Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL) at Université Laval, which is the largest university-based photonics research centre in Canada.

The Québec photonics industry’s strengths are in fiber lasers, sensors, instrumentation, imaging and digital vision, optical design, optical fiber and fiber components.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s information and communication technology industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Ground Transportation

With over 650 companies active in many different areas, tens of thousands of qualified workers and a number of innovative research centres, ground transportation is a major component of the Québec economy. Our expertise in advanced transportation is opening up new paths to the future!

Find more information on Invest Québec website

One of the best-structured industries in Québec’s economy

  • Over 650 companies, including leading contractors and world-class outfitters, as well as a network of specialty product suppliers and subcontractors.
  • With annual sales of $7 billion, the industry is renowned for its innovativeness and its grasp of global challenges. Québec is home to numerous research centres studying lightweight materials, batteries and smart systems—three of the hottest niche markets—with the potential to support Québec companies by developing solutions tailored to the needs of world markets.

In addition, Québec has adopted a number of economic strategies to help give Québec businesses a leg up on the global competition:

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s ground transportation industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Mining

Québec is known for its wide variety of metals and a business environment that welcomes mining investments. Come and explore its vast territory of which less than 7% is covered by mining rights.

Find more information on Invest Québec website

A Québec industry with vast export potential

Québec has developed expertise in mining extraction and operations as well as in the development of innovative products and services for the industry.

Québec is a world leader in the acquisition of geoscience data. This strong point is leading to the development of numerous innovations that help Québec’s mining industry stay competitive internationally.

Essential minerals

Several mining companies are implementing major investment projects to expand their active mines or develop new ones. Projects focus on substances that Québec already produces, such as iron ore, gold and nickel, in addition to new substances not currently mined in Québec, like lithium, rare earths, diamonds and graphite.

A dynamic and sustainable environment

Québec’s mineral strategy builds on mining exploration and development know-how acquired over generations and is moving Québec into the future by ensuring sustainable mining. The mineral strategy is based on three strategic targets:

  • creating wealth and preparing the future of Québec’s mining sector
  • ensuring environmentally friendly mineral development
  • fostering mineral development that is community-related and integrated into the environment.

Contact us

To learn more about Québec’s mining industry, contact the Québec Government Office covering your territory.

Haut de page