Québec has a strong, solid and diversified economy. Its economic vitality is due to a number of factors, including:
- excellence in advanced technologies
- skilled labour
- its position in North America
- abundant natural resources
Québec is a leader among industrialized countries when it comes to investing in research and development.
Sectors of excellence
The aerospace sector employs more than 42,000 people in 236 companies. Sales total nearly $11 billion (2009).
Québec also has cutting edge world-class expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry sector. Eight of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have research and manufacturing centres in Québec.
Additionally, Québec ranks 4th in North America in the biotechnology sector.
Québec ranks first in Canada for amounts invested in academic research in the life sciences sector as well as in research and development.
The environmental technologies, information and communication technologies, photonics and multimedia sectors are also internationally recognized economic driving forces in Québec.
An economy open to the world
Québec is a member of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) within Canada. This gives it access to a market of 440 million consumers, 25% of whom live within a 1,000 km radius. As a result, 75% of Québec’s exports go to the United States. Mexico is Québec’s second partner in the Americas, with trade totalling $3.7 billion.
More than 10% of international exports go to the member countries of the European Union. Québec and Canada are negotiating an economic partnership agreement with the European Union.
Québec is also developing trade with Asia and Latin America.
A study conducted in 2007 by Statistics Canada showed that the purchasing power of Québec families living in Montréal is generally higher than that of families living in other Canadian cities. Various studies and statistics also convincingly demonstrate that the cost of living in Québec is low compared to other industrialized countries.
The gross domestic product (GDP) is an economic indicator used to measure the wealth that is created in a country. The table below shows the GDP per capita in U.S. dollars for 2009.
Canada: $37,981 U.S. per capita
Québec: $32,536 U.S. per capita