Areas of collaboration


As one of Québec's five leading markets in Europe, Italy represents an ideal port of entry for Québec companies to the countries in the Mediterranean basin due to its strategic geographic location and economic relations with these countries. Furthermore, in light of the surge in privatization – especially in the public sector – and the demand for technology, Québec companies are showing a marked interest in Italy. In turn, Italian companies view Québec companies as strategic partners that provide them access to markets in the Americas. With a mind to growth and collaboration, Québec businesses are able to explore the many sectors of excellence in which Italian companies operate.

In Italy as in Québec, the economic architecture is composed of sectors of excellence in which many small and medium-sized businesses are active. Areas and sectors of production are also a part of this architecture. All these components constitute a strong point of the economy. As a result of these sectors of excellence and the network of small and medium-sized businesses, Italian exports increased by 12% in 2011 (following a growth of 15.7% in 2010), despite the difficult international context.

Québec exports to Italy represent 23% of Canada's total exports to the peninsula. Québec mainly exports:

  • engines and power turbines;
  • transmission equipment for the aeronautics sector;
  • machines for commerce and service companies;
  • recyclable metals;
  • iron ore;
  • paper pulp;
  • navigational, measurement and control instruments;
  • medical instruments;
  • construction machinery;
  • semi-conductors;
  • pharmaceutical products and medicines.

These are primarily high added value products. Most are used in Italian industry. They also include raw materials, which Italy lacks. This explains why there is a high volume of metal, ore and wood pulp among Québec's exports to Italy. Analogously, Québec's imports from Italy in 2011 make it Québec's fourth largest European supplier, just after France.

44 Italian companies operating in Canada have their head offices in Québec, making Italian companies the fifth largest contingent of European companies headquartered in Québec (Source: Statistics Canada).

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Cultural cooperation plays an important role both within the framework of the Québec-Italy Joint Subcommittee and outside it. Italy's infrastructure and leading cultural events make it an important market for artists, companies and Québec cultural enterprises performing in Europe. Each year, hundreds of activities enable Québec artists to promote their careers in Italy in all forms of cultural expression. This high volume represents opportunities for market development and marketing Québec's cultural products as well as outreach opportunities for showcasing Québec's cultural excellence. Québec's cultural presence has expanded and strengthened in such varied areas as the performing arts, film, visual arts, museology, music, circus arts and digital arts.

Since 1998, as a result of ongoing collaboration between Québec and Italian institutions and presenters, the Biennale Orizzonte Québec is the peninsula's principal public affairs event promoting Québec's most outstanding artistic and cultural expression. This key showcase of Québec in Italy is under the auspices of the SCMQI program and will be in its eighth edition in the fall of 2012.

Noteworthy outcomes resulting from the SCMQI include the establishment of lasting institutional relations with large cultural institutions and major Italian performing arts festivals as well as participation by Québec companies in numerous Italian dance festivals. Projects that were supported included the Rome: From the Origins to Italy's Capital exhibition at the Québec Museum of Civilization (MCQ) in 2011, and The Etruscans: An Ancient Italian Civilization exhibition at the Pointe-à-Callière archaeology and history museum in Montréal in 2012. Both are excellent examples of the vitality of cultural relations shared by Québec and Italy.

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Over thirty collaboration agreements exist between universities and other institutions of higher learning and research. This allows for significant student and professor mobility between Italy and Québec. Italy also houses the Italian Interuniversity Centre for Québec Studies, which links nine Italian universities. It is the only interuniversity centre for Québec studies of its kind abroad.

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Scientific and technological research

Financial support for joint research projects in science and technology affords mobility to researchers involved. The projects make a significant contribution to fostering technology transfer between the two partners in addition to generating economic benefits and promoting Italian and Québec expertise in targeted sectors. The progress achieved in aeronautics, advanced materials, biotechnology and life sciences has led to a broad range of tangible benefits, including articles published in specialized journals, scientific reports, distinctions and advances in the field that that have resulted in patents.

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Last update: 2019-04-18 10:11:59 AM