While he acknowledged the global economy is slowing, Investissement Québec CEO Guy LeBlanc seemed unperturbed by the prospect of a possible recession.
Despite forecasts of a recession, foreign investment in Quebec is on the rise.
Since being given a wider mandate in 2019, Investissement Québec now incorporates the former regional offices of the Economy Ministry — as well as the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec — to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get advice and financing under one roof. Its multiple goals include boosting exports, attracting more foreign capital and generating greater wealth for the province.
You are reading: Foreign investment in Quebec hit record $6 billion in 2022-23
Fifty-eight per cent of foreign investments, or $3.55 billion, were made outside of Montreal, Fitzgibbon said. When Laval and the Montérégie are excluded, Quebec’s regions attracted $2.5 billion, he added.
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Most of the new capital inflows in 2022-23 can be attributed to companies that already have a presence in Quebec. They include U.S. chocolate maker Hershey, which spent $30 million to expand its Granby plant.
All told, subsidiaries of foreign companies reinvested $3.8 billion in 78 expansion projects in various regions of the province, or almost two-thirds of total foreign direct investment, Investissement Québec data show. For more than 40 per cent of those 78 projects, Quebec was in competition with foreign subsidiaries located in other countries, the agency said.
Information technology and materials and chemicals were the biggest recipients of foreign investment. They each accounted for 29 per cent of total capital inflows recorded in 2022-23.
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Several initiatives paved the way for the improved export and foreign investment results, Bolduc said. They include the expansion of an Asia-based investment team that focuses on major markets such as South Korea and Japan; the adoption of a new export strategy centred on Africa; and the creation of a team dedicated to helping Quebec exporters win government contracts globally. Some 50,000 government contracts are awarded daily around the world, Investissement Québec data show.
While he acknowledged the global economy is slowing, LeBlanc seemed unperturbed by the prospect of a possible recession.
“It’s sure that we are feeling headwinds, but this makes our mission even more important in terms of economic development,” he said. “We must be even more involved with companies. We must be even more insistent, motivate them to invest more. With the labour shortage, it’s important to invest and increase the automation of processes and manufacturing. Our role is even more important when we feel these headwinds.”