If it is difficult to measure the exact contribution of the financial arm of the government to achieve this strong attraction effect, the President and CEO of Investissement Québec, Guy LeBlanc, argued at a press conference, Friday in Montreal, that IQ’s performance in promoting Quebec internationally was remarkable and that his organization has aimed straight.

A total of 121 projects were announced in 2021-2022. 85% of these investments come from subsidiaries of foreign companies already present in the province.

Last summer, for example, the Danish LM Wind Power, a subsidiary of General Electric, announced a $160 million expansion project for its wind turbine blade factory in Gaspé. Of the 54 million in government aid, 29 million came from an interest-free and partly forgivable loan from IQ.

Since the fiscal year ended on March 31, the hundreds of millions of investments in the battery industry in Bécancour (General Motors and POSCO Chemicals, as well as BASF) and for the establishment of the Moderna plant in the Greater Montreal are not included in the data disclosed. These sums would nevertheless make it possible to reach an objective of $5.6 billion in foreign investment in 2022-2023.

The pandemic has struck. Despite the difficult months that followed, we adapted our practices, strengthened our teams and added expertise in under-exploited markets and new high-potential markets. »

A quote from Guy LeBlanc, CEO of Investissement Québec

Investments by sector in 2021-2022

  • Information technology: $1.95 billion (42%)
  • Manufacturing industries: $749 million (16%)
  • Life sciences: $651 million (14%)
  • Ground and aerospace transportation: $626 million (13%)
  • Agrifood: $250 million (5%)

Increase in sales outside Quebec

After the adoption of the reform spearheaded by the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, the 70 people from Export Québec joined Investissement Québec International. The business unit now includes some 140 people out of a total of 1,090 employees.

More than 3,200 support for companies intended to internationalize and market their products and services were recorded during the last financial year. Sales worth $1.95 billion would have been made to international buyers, almost double compared to 2018-2019.

The Crown corporation considers the other Canadian provinces as foreign countries in terms of exports, which currently represent 46% of Quebec’s gross domestic product. We would have to increase our exports by 15 to 20 billion dollars to reach the 50% objective, explained the president of the international unit, Hubert Bolduc. With the battery industry, we should be able to reach this figure.

What return on investment?

We have not been able to know, in monetary terms, the return on investment of the financial aid or support granted by IQ.

Historically, approximately 60% of firm sales made by companies are the logical result of financial support, Mr. Bolduc nevertheless underlined. In 2021, only 27% of firm sales depend on a financial program, so 73% are the result of support from our people.

Minister Fitzgibbon added that if there is a options menu offered to businesses (loans, loan guarantees, tax credits, share capital), financial support is not always necessary. There are projects where we give practically nothing, he said. A business may simply be attracted to Quebec for its low electricity rates.

An average return “over 9%”

In 2020-21, IQ had an exceptional return of 25.1%, after a decline of 4.9% the previous year.

CEO Guy LeBlanc says financial performance in 2021-22 will be known in June, but is already saying the average return for the past three years will hold always over 9%.


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