Economy of Quebec

From Academic Kids

The economy of Quebec is diversified and post-industrial with a strong potential for growth.



Quebec has a modern post-industrial economy with a positive trade balance. Since the signing of the free trade agreement between Canada and the United States in 1987, Quebec exports to the American republic have exploded.

In 2002, Quebec had a GDP per capita of US$27,601. It imported US$83.363 billion of goods and services and exported US$92.195 billion. Approximately 85 per cent of all Quebec exports go to the United States.

Strong sectors


Quebec's aerospace industry is ranked sixth in the world for its production value. Montreal is the second aerospace centre after Seattle and before Toulouse. There are some 260 companies of the aerospace sector that employ 40,000 people. Various international organizations have established their headquarters in Quebec, notably the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Ground transportation

Quebec's ground transportation industry generated $7.2 billion in revenue at the beginning of 2004. It employs some 35,000 people and includes major original equipment manufacturers such as Bombardier, PACCAR, NovaBUS, Prévost CAR, Komatsu International, and many suppliers and sub-contractors.

Information technology

Employing over 100,000 workers, Quebec's information technology sector is strong and growing. Of the total Canadian venture capital funding 52 per cent is managed in Quebec with 61 per cent of available funds invested in technology.

Particularly strong are the sectors of telecommunications, multimedia software, computer services and consulting, microelectronics and components.

Some 10,000 people work for 115 telecommunication companies such as Ericsson, Motorola, and Mitec.

The multimedia sector is quite strong and even stronger since the arrival of Electronic Arts in 2003. Some 1200 people work for game development companies such as Ubi Soft, Microïds, Strategy First, and A2M.

Notably, Montreal is home to two major creators of 3D animation software: Softimage and Discreet.

The computer services, software development, and consulting branch employs 60,000 specialized workers.

The microelectronics sector is strong, with 110 companies employing 12,900 people. The largest employers are Hyperchip, IBM, and Matrox.

Optics and photonics

In 2004, some 8000 people were employed in the Quebec optics and photonics industries. Research-related jobs are concentrated chiefly in the seven Quebec City region research centres, while production operations are mostly located in the Greater Montreal area. Quebec counts some 20 businesses in the laser, optical fibre, image processing, and related sectors.


Quebec has some 130 companies employing 4700 people in the biotechnology industry. It is ranked third in North America for its size, just after California and Massachusetts.

Health industry

With 381 companies and 24,550 employees in the pharmaceutical, research and development, manufacturing, and related sectors, the Quebec health industry is one of the most important economic stimuli of modern Quebec. With the presence of some 20 multinationals such as Merck Frosst, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Aventis Pharma, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Montreal ranks eighth in North America for the number of jobs in the pharmaceutical sector.

Tourism industry

In 2002, tourism-related expenditures amounted to C$7.3 billion. Some 27.5 million trips were made in Quebec, 72 per cent of which were made by Quebecers themselves, 15 per cent by Canadians from other provinces, 9 per cent from the United States and 4 per cent from other countries.

The most visited cities are Montreal and Quebec City.


Aluminium and magnesium




In 2002, Quebec had international product exports of US$68.245 billion. (Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) and Statistics Canada (SC))

  • Food products: US$3,340 million
  • Wood and paper: US$9,902 million
  • Textiles and clothes: US$3,045 million
  • Minerals and mineral products: US$10,598 million
  • Chemicals and petrochemical products: US$3,877 million
  • Machinery and tools: US$4,581 million
  • Transport material: US$15,750 million
  • Electrical, electronics, and telecom products: US$7,172 million
  • Electricity: US$832 million
  • Uncategorized products: US$9,146 million


Unemployment rate: In 2001, the unemployment rate was 8.7 per cent, an increase of 0.3 per cent from 2000.

Unionization: In 2001, 40.7 per cent of Quebec workers were unionized.

Employment sector: In 2001, 74.7 per cent of Quebec workers worked in the tertiary sector, 18.5 per cent in the manufacturing sector, 2.8 per cent in the primary sector, and 4.0 per cent in the construction sector.

Consumer market

Quebec Inc

See also

External link


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