The Pacific Northwest is that region of the United States where Oregon and Washington are located, gigantic trees, endless beaches and… some of the biggest multinationals on the planet. The perfect place to represent two of Quebec’s main industries, believes Investissement Quebec (IQ) International.
IQ International has Seattle in its sights in 2023. The agency, whose mission is to help Quebec companies increase their influence abroad, hopes to find a commercial attaché there who will represent Quebec inc. on the spot. Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Nike… and even Starbucks have created over the years in the American Northwest one of the most dynamic economic centers on the continent.
The General Delegation of Quebec in Los Angeles has established in recent years a permanent presence in Silicon Valley, in northern California. The eventual Quebec representative in Seattle would therefore be its second expansion, this one a little further north than the other. The person chosen will have the mandate to focus mainly on the aerospace and technology sectors, two very strong industries both locally and in Quebec.
Aeronautics in the lead
“For us, proximity is obviously a priority,” explains the To have to the director responsible for the United States for IQ International, Dominic Cousineau. We had no one there to develop this market. Many Quebec aerospace companies are already working with Boeing suppliers. We want to strengthen this network to generate new business opportunities. »
In aerospace, there are two main poles in the world: Seattle and Toulouse. Boeing and Airbus. Montreal comes third. In Toulouse, Montreal is already well known, if only because of the presence of Airbus in Mirabel. Getting closer to Seattle and Washington State would facilitate relations with Boeing and with the huge ecosystem that revolves around the aircraft manufacturer: 1,400 companies and 141,000 workers who produce more than 700 planes and 700 drones each year.
“There is also the American defense industry, in which Boeing is very involved. Some Quebec companies would like to develop this sector,” adds Dominic Cousineau.
Breaking into the American defense market would be a way of diversifying the markets to which Quebec industry is exported. In 2021, Quebec aerospace exported 75% of its production, including 56% – the lion’s share – to the United States, indicates IQ International.
IT and video games
Amazon and its cloud services subsidiary AWS, Microsoft, and even Google, which has a significant presence in the region, are the major names in the technology sector that gravitate around Seattle. These are the examples cited by IQ International of companies to which its branch in the American Northwest should focus.
The Quebec technology sector includes both companies specializing in computer services (IT) and video game production, but the business opportunities that will be prioritized will be in the first category. “In our reflection on this market, we mainly saw ourselves offering IT services to companies like Nike and Starbucks, for example,” says Dominic Cousineau.
“A single person will not be able to develop all the business sectors on his own, but that does not exclude him from helping Quebec companies in other fields that have specific requests in the region,” adds- he.
This new position in the Pacific Northwest comes with a set of goals to achieve that are being kept secret until the government approves them. This does not seem to worry IQ International, which would like to replicate the model elsewhere. In Asia, in particular.
“Our mandate is to help diversify exports,” recalls Dominic Cousineau. The United States will always remain our first trading partner, but that would allow us to have more ambitious targets in other countries. »