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28 Oct 2011

Minister of International Relations expects to see more Québec-Brazil partnerships

The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay and Garibaldi Alves Filho, Minister of Social Security of Brazil during the signing of the agreement on social security.

At the end of a five-day mission to Brazil, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, said that she expects to see a number of new partnerships between Québec and Brazil in the areas of green energy and research and innovation, given the existence of an array of shared interests and complementary expertise.

Accompanied by a delegation of businesspeople from over a dozen companies, the Minister began her mission on October 24 in Rio de Janeiro, where she signed a cooperation agreement that will allow Québec to expand its relations with Rio in areas such as science and innovation, economic development, education, health, the environment and culture.

The Minister also meet with key Olympic Games organizers, including the Rio 2016 Committee’s director of institutional relations, and municipal officials, with whom she discussed business opportunities generated by the major construction projects under way in Rio de Janeiro.

The mission included a stop in Brasilia, where Minister Gagnon-Tremblay signed a social security agreement with the Brazilian federal authorities. The agreement will greatly facilitate manpower mobility between Brazil and Québec, among other ways by coordinating social security plans in the two jurisdictions.

According to Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, “The agreement is a big step toward closer relations with Brazil, especially with respect to worker mobility. Among other things, it will allow businesses in Québec and Brazil to step up exchanges of expertise, by offering advantageous working conditions to their employees who hail from the other signatory’s territory.”

The mission then headed for São Paulo, where, as in Rio, the Minister gave a speech on Québec’s economy and Plan Nord (Northern Plan). She told an audience of people from the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce about the impressive business potential and investments triggered by deployment of the Plan Nord.

The stops in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo also featured presentations by Denis Leclerc, President of Écotech Québec, on the industrial approach adopted by Québec’s cleantech (green technology) cluster.

A meeting between Minister Gagnon-Tremblay and Bruno Covas, São Paulo’s Secretary of State for the Environment, was an opportunity to match São Paulo’s needs with what Québec has to offer and identify the most promising avenues for cooperation for the coming years. The meeting was a follow-up to Secretary of State Covas’s trip to Québec in August of this year, aimed at exploring interest in a strategic partnership between Québec and the State of São Paulo.
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