Since the 2008 recession, most indicators of economic activity are green. Global economic growth continues to improve, particularly in the United States where the rate of unemployment is at 4.4% and the growth expected is more than 2% this year.
Businesses in Quebec are more confident in the economy and are investing in advancements. According to the statistical institute in Quebec, investments increased by 2.1% in the first quarter.
Recently, Bombardier, the world leader in aircraft and train manufacturing (with its head office in Montreal) has recently suffered a blow with the US Department of Commerce’s nearly 220% countervailing duty. The damage to Quebec’s economy is likely to be significant, even if the final decision of this case will not be made until February next year.
Nevertheless, there is very good news on the horizon. The opening of a research and technology center specialised in artificial intelligence in Montreal by the French giant Thales, Facebook announced in September the opening of a research laboratory for intelligence artificial in Montreal and Google’s cloud computing service has been in Montreal since March 2017.
R&D is not just in Quebec, Canada is dynamic too
With $1532.34 US billion GDP and 36.2 million of people, Canada is currently ranked 18th in the Global Innovation Index. The country can rely on political stability, relative absence of violence, good business environment and a good university ranking average score.
The government wants to maintain this momentum and announced in May a new Quebec strategy for research and innovation (SQRI) with the objective of becoming one of the most innovative and creative regions in the world by 2030. A $2.8 billion investment is foreseen in the program.
Finally, the recent free trade agreement between Canada and Europe should facilitate trade to Europe. Taking into account the protectionist policy of Donald Trump, it is easy to imagine that new American companies will soon wish to settle in Quebec to better export to Europe.