Pierre Arcand leads a mission to Japan to support the Québec video game development industry and efforts to combat climate change

Québec City, September 16, 2009 – Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, accompanied by Jacques Daoust, President and CEO of Investissement Québec, and Ann Champoux, SODEC Executive Director, Film and Television Production, will be in Japan on an official mission from September 22 to October 1, 2009. A business delegation representing the video game industry will also accompany the Minister.

Minister Arcand will begin his trip with a visit to the Tokyo Game Show, to support the prospecting efforts by the Québec video game development industry targeting the world's biggest players in this field. With 55 companies and 6,600 employees (including 4,400 developers), Québec is one of the world's leading video game development hubs.

The Minister will then mark the opening of a Québec film festival in the presence of two Québec filmmakers, Roger Cantin (The Hidden Fortress) and Benoît Pilon (The Necessities of Life).

In addition to taking part in political meetings, Minister Arcand will officially open the and launch the new session of a course on Québec offered for the past six years by Meiji University, which also houses a Québec document reference centre.

In the Minister's words, “Since 2003, Québec has carried out six ministerial missions to consolidate our political, economic, educational and cultural ties with Japan. Our permanent presence, via the Délégation générale du Québec à Tokyo, and now thanks to the artists' residence, shows our determination to maintain our trusting relationship with this high-priority partner for Québec.”

Japan boasts the world's second-largest economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of close to CAN$5 trillion. In addition to its impressive reserves, Japan can tap into its great capacity for innovation. It is a world leader in the area of R&D investments.

Japan is also Québec's number-two economic partner in Asia, after China, and the number-one Asian export market for Québec cultural products. For the first six months of 2009, at $540 million, Québec exports to Japan were up 11% over the figure for the corresponding period last year. About 50 Japanese companies have set up shop in Québec, where they employ over 6,500 people.

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