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24 Apr 2009

Pierre Arcand visits Germany and Austria

Left to right: Daniel Curio, newly appointed Director of the State of Bavaria Québec Office; Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie; Horst Seehofer, Minister-President of Bavaria; and Charles Villiers, Québec’s Delegate General in Munich.

Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, offered a very positive assessment of his recent trip to Germany and Austria. The Minister met with a number of Québec’s major partners with a view to reinforcing bilateral cooperation and contributing to the realization of the proposed Canada-EU economic partnership agreement.

With negotiations scheduled to kick off in Prague on May 6, Mr. Arcand sought to emphasize the agreement’s vital importance for all stakeholders involved. His European hosts in Berlin, Munich and Linz, including Emilia Müller, Bavarian Minister of State for Federal and European Affairs, and Josef Pühringer, Minister-President of Upper Austria, expressed their full support for the proposal.

“From a bilateral point of view, cultural and economic relations with Germany and Austria are very important for Québec. Germany is our second-largest economic partner in Europe, with Québec accounting for 32% of Canadian exports to the country. As regards Austria, Québec accounts for 55% of Canadian exports,” noted the Minister.

Meetings with Horst Seehofer, Minister-President of Bavaria, and several members of his government, as well as with Dr. Pühringer, served to strengthen Québec’s links with Bavaria and Upper Austria. Discussions focused on the consequences of the economic crisis and the most effective responses to it. Also on the agenda were a number of new and promising renewable energy and environmental projects.

Mr. Arcand also took the opportunity to promote Québec’s expertise with the Brandenburg state government, which is undertaking a major infrastructure project: Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport in Schönefeld—the largest airport construction project currently underway in Europe.

After recording 8% growth in 2008, Germany could soon become Québec’s number-one trading partner in Europe. Every year, Québec’s Government Office in Munich organizes a series of activities aimed at facilitating Québec companies’ access to this major market.

Mr. Arcand is continuing his European mission in Paris, where he will take part in the signing of mutual recognition arrangements in connection with the historic Agreement on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications signed by Québec and France in October 2008.

Québec-Germany relations
Québec Government Office in Munich
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