Ontario and Québec Ministers Work to Strengthen Interprovincial Trade
Provinces Partner to Explore Mutually Beneficial Economic Opportunities
TORONTO — Ontario is open for business and open for jobs, and explored opportunities for greater economic growth, trade and job creation yesterday with Québec.
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec's Minister of Economy and Innovation, held their first official meeting in Toronto. They jointly discussed interprovincial trade opportunities directly with businesses at a fireside chat hosted by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and participated in a roundtable discussion with representatives from across a number of key sectors. This follows Premier Doug Ford's and Premier François Legault of Québec's pledge to work together to intensify interprovincial trade and market diversification.
Reaffirming a positive and productive relationship between Ontario and Québec, the ministers discussed progress on the Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR 5G) — a digital infrastructure project that has built the country's first pre-commercial 5G wireless network for open innovation. Applications are being accepted in both provinces encouraging small- and medium-sized businesses to explore cutting-edge opportunities in 5G.
"Ontario is open for business and open for jobs, and that means creating an environment for businesses to innovate and thrive by eliminating unnecessary regulatory barriers, cutting red tape, and lowering business costs to strengthen internal trade," said Fedeli. "Ontario is prepared to work multilaterally through the Canada Free Trade Agreement and bilaterally with other provinces like Québec, who share our goal to increase the flow of trade within our borders to benefit our businesses and our consumers."
"Québec and Ontario share a long history and have formed special ties. We must continue to develop this natural market to increase trade. Each of the meetings in which I took part during this economic mission to Toronto confirmed that we have the common will to work together to further strengthen our trade agreements," said Fitzgibbon. "Québec has a wealth of investment opportunities to offer Ontario's business community and companies, and I invite them to take full advantage of them."
Ontario and Québec have enjoyed close economic ties as each other's top interprovincial trading partners, and represent the two largest economies in the country. By working together to explore greater economic cooperation, Ontario and Québec will expand their export capacity and cooperate in areas of joint interests.
In 2017, Ontario and Québec accounted for more than 58.2% of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP). Both provinces accounted for less than 60% of most Canadian trade indicators, resulting in 58.4% of total goods and services exports, 57.6% of total goods and services imports, and 58.0% of total goods and services trade.