Political and institutional relations
Québec's International Policy (2006) includes Italy among the priority countries for Québec's international actions on the European continent. As a member of the G8, Italy is among Québec's principal economic and trading partners in the European Union. In 2006, the Québec representation in Rome was also upgraded to the status of Government Office. The Québec Government Office in Rome covers Italy, the Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City State. In addition, it is mandated to keep a watch on the Mediterranean basin.
Italy is a founding member of the European Union and is its fourth strongest economic power. It has been among Québec's important worldwide economic partners for decades and is characterized by a system of innovative and dynamic small and medium-sized businesses with activities that are often complementary to those of Québec companies. Moreover, growing interest in Québec on the part of Italian investors (Italian companies are the fifth largest contingent of European companies with operations in Québec) and similar interest in Italy on the part of Québec investors in a number of high added value sectors is strengthening the economic input of an already significant presence in both territories. Québec accounts for over 28% of trade between Canada and Italy.
Institutionalized bilateral cooperation between Québec and Italy is overseen by the Québec-Italy Joint Subcommittee (SCMQI), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012. Established in 1992 by the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie (Ministère des Affaires Internationales at the time) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stemming from the Cultural Agreement between the Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of Canada, this thriving cooperation focuses primarily on education, culture, science and technology.
Québec has also developed strategic partnerships with some Italian regions that share a common desire to take their place in the international arena and assert themselves as recognized players among federated states and regions. This is the case with the Lombardy region, one of Europe's four driving forces, with which Québec maintains an administrative partnership for industrial and technological cooperation (PAIT). Lombardy also hosts the World Regions Forum, which brings together 17 regions and federated states that are among the world's most innovative, including Québec. In addition, Milan, the peninsula's economic capital, will host the 2015 World Expo from May 1 to October 31, 2015.
Last update: 2019-04-18 10:11:59 AM