Destination South Korea and China
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, will leave on May 9 on an economic mission to South Korea and China, countries with which Québec wants to boost trade in order to reinforce and diversify its economy.
The first leg of the mission is aimed at enhancing ties between Québec and the Republic of Korea, one of the world’s most dynamic economies (13th in the world). Minister Arcand will take part in high-level political and economic meetings with officials such as the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the CEO of Daesung Group Korea and the Rector of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He will also give an address to the members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea. This is the first mission to the Republic of Korea by an elected member of the Québec National Assembly since 1997.
In Minister Arcand’s words, “The proximity of China and Japan makes South Korea a key player for the entire region. Eastern Asia is a major integrated economic system, in which the Republic of Korea is an important driving belt. A wide array of possibilities are open to Québec, particularly in the fields of trade, university cooperation, culture and investments.”
The Minister will then travel on to China, where, among other things, he will take part in the official opening of “Espace Montréal,” the Montréal site at Expo 2010 Shanghai. “Montréal will be part of the Best Practices area. This is an exceptional showcase that allows us to highlight Québec creativity and know-how in sustainable development and green technologies,” said Minister Arcand.
During his stay in Shanghai Pierre Arcand will give a speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and take part in a forum on life sciences held by Montréal InVivo, alongside Chinese and Québec representatives from the worlds of business and research and government agencies. A meeting is also planned with the Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zeng.
China has been Québec’s number-two trade partner, behind the United States, since 2008. Over a ten-year period, Québec exports to China grew from $328 million to $1.127 billion.