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Premier Couillard positions Québec as a gateway to the North American market

Brussels, Belgium, January 19, 2015 – During his mission in Brussels, capital of the European Union, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard promoted the benefits of the Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and Québec’s advantages in this context when he met with Québec’s political interlocutors and representatives of the business community.

“Québec’s strategic position as a gateway to the North American market combined with the prospect of the Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement afford Québec firms a unique opportunity tap new markets,” the Premier noted. 

Premier Couillard first participated in a working meeting with Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and European Affairs. The initial meeting with the head of Belgian diplomacy focused, among other things, on challenges related to the comprehensive economic and trade agreement. The topic was also on the agenda at the European Commission, where the Premier met with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmströmet and Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici.

Premier Couillard addressed the members of the Delegation for relations with Canada in the European Parliament. At that time, he emphasized the considerable potential for cooperation in key Québec projects such as the Northern Plan and the maritime strategy, in particular with respect to sustainable development and research and innovation.

The Premier was also invited to deliver a speech at an economic forum organized by the Chamber of Commerce Canada-Belgium-Luxembourg in partnership with the main Belgian business associations, which assembled 130 representatives of the leading business associations in Belgium.

Lastly, the visit to Brussels consolidated relations with federated entities in Belgium, with which Québec maintains durable cooperation in several sectors. The Premier met with the Minister-President of the French Community of Belgium Rudy Demotte, the Minister-President of  Flanders Geert Bourgeois, and Vice-President of the Walloon Region Claude Marcourt.

In addition to relying on Belgium as a key strategic partner in Europe, Québec has over the years developed close relations with the federal entities that it encompasses. Such collaboration is not only economically profitable but also beneficial from a political, social, educational and cultural standpoint. It is very much to our advantage to further broaden our fields of cooperation and trade for our mutual benefit,” Premier Couillard concluded. 

This stage concluded the second section of the Premier’s European mission. He will participate from January 21 to 23 in the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


Online as of: July 16, 2015

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