Quebec’s 2013 External Trade Development Plan identified that trade relations with the United States would remain a priority for the government. Quebec also cited the Mexican and European markets as priorities in term of market diversification and identified the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Japan and Korea as priority export markets.
The External Trade Development Plan seeks to stimulate exports by consolidating traditional markets, developing new markets, and preparing new exporters. The Plan focuses on optimizing government action through better interdepartmental coordination and by increasing financial support to Quebec’s exporters. For Asia Pacific, the government’s priorities are to:
- Capitalize on the sustained growth of Asian countries;
- Adopt a regional approach by promoting the high potential of regions with strong economic growth in China and India, to Quebec companies;
- Prepare exporters for the complexity of Asian markets by supporting them in their certification and standardization processes;
- Improve the competitiveness of companies by supporting their integration into global value-creation chains;
- Assert and defend the interests of Quebec businesses in trade negotiations in Asia,
particularly with India, South Korea, Japan and regionally.
Quebec maintains a network of offices throughout the Asia-Pacific, with each providing different levels of services. General Delegation offices form Quebec’s primary diplomatic presence abroad. These offices provide services related to the economy, education, culture, immigration and public affairs. The only General Delegation office in Asia is located in Tokyo (Japan). The province also maintains bureaus providing services in a limited number of areas. In Asia, these bureaus are located in Beijing (China), Shanghai (China), Qingdao (China), Hong Kong, and Mumbai (India). Quebec also has a trade office in Seoul (South Korea).
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Eight of Quebec’s fifty-two sister cities are in Asia, located in Japan and China specifically. While it has no official sister province agreement, Quebec signed a unique agreement with Shandong Province in China in 2008. Quebec currently holds a special relationship status with the Shandong, which is China’s second most populous province, and one that has approximately twice the GDP of Quebec. The province has also signed a declaration of cooperation with Maharashtra state in India in 2006.
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Did You Know...
Quebec organizes an annual Quebecois duck festival in Yokohama Chinatown,
Japan’s (and Asia’s) largest Chinatown, in which Chinese restaurants prepare dishes featuring Quebec duck.