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North America / Quebec

The state of play: FDI in Quebec

Quebec is Canada's second-largest province by population, and a major business hub in the country. It has displayed impressive FDI credentials in recent years, encouraging the likes of Ericsson to invest there.

Montreal-Quebec-FDI
The port in Montreal, Quebec, is being renovated in a move that it is hoped will create more than 30,000 jobs and attract substantial investment. (Photo by Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images)

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Canadian province of Quebec increased by 12% in 2019, with a total of 82 greenfield projects, according to fDi Intelligence’s 2020 fDi Report. This compares with a 5% rise in FDI projects across Canada, which increased from 328 projects in 2018 to 345 in 2019. By capital investment Quebec received $2.9bn of inward investment, which represented a 3% market share of all FDI into North America.

Quebec has seen a rise in FDI over recent years, partly due to a concerted effort by government in conjunction with investment promotion agency (IPA) Invest Quebec.

Quebec’s maritime plan to capture FDI

The port of Quebec is the focus of a government initiative to implement a maritime strategy to create more than 30,000 jobs and encourage a targeted $6.8bn of investment by 2030. During the first five-year phase of the strategy, the government has pledged to invest up to $381m for maritime infrastructure improvements, which are expected to create 1,500 jobs during construction.

The province’s largest city, Montreal, placed second in fDi Intelligence’s ‘Tier 2 Cities of the Future 2020/21’ ranking, showing the strongest economic growth of all Canadian cities and a marked increase in FDI. In 2019, the IPA Montreal International provided services to 89 foreign companies in the region representing investments of $1.98bn, up 164% since 2015. In 2019, 7,000 new jobs were created in the Greater Montreal region as a result of FDI.

Montreal is increasingly seen as a centre for innovation, attracting companies including Swedish multinational telecoms firm Ericsson, which unveiled its new global artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator in the city in 2019, creating 30 jobs. Other recent investment announcements include one from Biodiversity Observation Network, a global research network, which has committed to relocating its headquarters from Leipzig in Germany to Montreal. The company cited the city’s research environment and AI expertise as reasons for the move.