AI Magazine Issue 1 2018

14 Acquisition International - Issue 1 2018 Québec International is an economic development agency devoted to helping companies and investors. We invited Québec International’s President and CEO, Carl Viel to give us a behind the scenes view of the Most Outstanding Economic Development Agency 2017 in the Global Excellence Awards. ounded in 2003, Québec International helps companies in the Québec City metropolitan region develop and maintain a competitive edge on international markets. The agency also provides services to foreign investors and subsidiaries established on its territory, with support for development, start-up or expansion projects. The Québec International economic development agency offers a full slate of support services for foreign investors, and assistance to companies in the Québec City metropolitan region. With many strings to its bow, the agency works in many different industries, including life sciences, ICT, Electronics and Optics, food and nutrition, value- added materials, environment and energy industries, as well as the insurance and financial services. Bolstering its reputation, the company is able to distinguish itself from its competitors, despite operating in such a competitive region. Carl states that the area is the best choice around for clients in a variety of areas, noting how everyone cooperates with each other in order to produce the best results. “The Québec City area is in a position to rival the any major cities of the world. When it comes to offering a competitive business environment to those wishing to invest, the Québec City area has nothing to envy to the others. With a solid economy supported by strong industrial sectors, the Québec City area offers choice and momentum while reducing the cost. “Cooperating is second nature to us. Isolated markets and an inward focused approach are things we try to avoid at all costs. We throw the doors wide open so that clients can forge their projects’ to be profitable alliances with other companies in the sector, and partners who are eager to help clients move their projects forward. Here, competition and collaboration are not opposing concepts, they go hand in hand.” Balancing its ambition without overcommitting itself is a key aspect in the agency’s fortunes. Competition is good for the sector and for different companies, and Québec International is able to find the right balance, achieving success without eliminating its competitors. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are a source of pride and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. They share their achievements knowing that their city appreciates what they do and will return the favour. Success is a key element for Company: Québec International Contact Email: Phone: 001 418 681 9700 Website: AWealthof Economic Expertise F 1712AI37 social cohesion, and Québec International reaps the benefits of this scarce commodity in the unique business ecosystem. However, there are some issues which the agency will have to work hard to overcome, but Carl is confident that the company will embrace these challenges, citing workforce availability as a key area that needs improvement. “That said, last year’s results highlighted some of the issues that the area is facing. Efforts must be made to tackle these issues so that our economy can continue to grow. Workforce availability is one of our primary concerns. According to our projections, Québec City will add nearly 20,000 new jobs by 2021, exceeding the growth experienced between 2011 and 2016 (+13,300 jobs). The need for workers will increase due to the expansion and establishment of foreign companies. “Additionally, more and more positions will need to be filled, especially as people retire. With that in mind, it will be important to monitor the development of the labour force, since it is growing more slowly than the job market, increasing the severity of labour shortages. Investment development will also draw attention to the region. More than 300 major residential and non-residential projects are planned or underway, generating more than $10 billion over the next 10 years. These projects will support capital expenditures. However, expenditures in R&D, innovation, equipment, marketing and training will also be critical in terms of encouraging competition between companies, and growing said companies’ market share.” Overall, the efforts made over the past few years will serve as an important lever for growing Québec. Carl signs off by talking about how the positive energy that runs through Québec International will benefit not only the company in the future, but also the region as a whole. “Lastly, in everything we do, we are driven by the same positive energy. We jealously guard our quality of life, and this is reflected in the way we do business. Also, we instil and protect a social climate that is synonymous with good living and seize every opportunity to join together to celebrate our achievements. The Québec City area not only has business savvy, it is also blessed with a festive spirit.”