The largest province in Canada by surface area, Québec ranks second on the basis of population with 7.8 million people (in 2009). The active population represents 4.2 million people. Québec strong and diversified economy ranks among the 50 most important in the world. Its economic vitality is due to a number of factors including:
- Its strategic position in North America;
- Abundant natural resources;
- Hydro-electric power at relatively low production costs;
- Highly educated and skilled workforce;
- Innovative and dynamic R&D as shown by the excellence in advanced technologies;
- Exportation of products across the world.
Regions Economic Forces
The many facets of Québec’s territory make it the most diversified economy in Canada. Each of Québec’s 17 administrative regions has distinct economic forces. Many regional features position Québec as a leader in North America and the world.
- Abitibi-Témiscamingue is known the world over for its abundant deposits of precious metals.
- Bas-Saint-Laurent has earned a reputation for maritime expertise and stands out in the marine biotechnology sector.
- Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is a major player in aluminum production.
- Montréal is known throughout the world in the fields of life sciences (pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry sector) and video games.
In June 2011, the Québec Government launched the Plan Nord which will span over a 25-year period. This mega project should lead to over $80 billion in investments during that time and create or consolidate, on average, 20,000 jobs a year. The Plan Nord is intended as “an exemplary sustainable development project combining energy, mining, forest, bio-food, tourism and transportation development, wildlife development, environmental protection and biodiversity protection”.
Read the other sections on Quebec economy