Foreign investments | A record harvest of 13 billion for Investissement Québec

Boosted by the battery sector, the harvest of 13 billion in foreign investments made by Investissement Québec (IQ) last year will be difficult to repeat. The volumes of energy and available land are not unlimited, warns the financial arm of the Quebec state.


Published at 1:30 p.m.

Updated at 4:18 p.m.

What there is to know

  • Investissement Québec raised $13 billion in foreign direct investments last year. This is a record.
  • The major projects in the Quebec battery industry largely explain this performance.
  • It will be difficult to repeat this performance, according to Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.

“We will not see next year the figure that we have now, that’s for sure, because we will not have the megawatts,” admitted the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Thursday, at a press conference.

As the publication of its annual results approaches, IQ President and CEO Bicha Ngo and her team provided an update on Thursday on the performance of the state-owned company in terms of foreign investments and exports.

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PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy Pierre Fitzgibbon, alongside the President and CEO of Investissement Québec Bicha Ngo and the Vice-President of Exports at IQI, Marie-Ève ​​Jean (at the rear).

The 2023 result was twice as high as the record $6 billion recorded in foreign investment. IQ was able to benefit from major announcements concerning the Quebec battery ecosystem.

We broke records again this year.

Bicha Ngo, President and CEO of Investissement Québec

Overall, IQ’s international division completed 109 projects last year, down 16 from 2022. Foreign investments came from 27 different countries.

Big piece

Projects like Northvolt (battery cells), Solus (copper foils), the joint venture formed by General Motors and Posco (battery materials) represent almost half of the 13 billion recorded in foreign investments last year. With the exception of Northvolt, these companies have established themselves outside the greater metropolitan area.

Microsoft, which must build four data centers in the Quebec region as part of an investment of US$500 million, is one of the big prizes, underlines IQ.

>>>>

The state-owned company’s foreign investment record takes into account Ford’s cathode materials plant and its South Korean partners even though the $1.2 billion project is now at a standstill – as revealed it The Press last May 7.

“I think that the battery industry, like [M. Fitzgibbon] mentioned, it is not over, but it is certain that there are limits in terms of megawatts, land and talent,” explained the president of Investissement Québec International, Hubert Bolduc.

In this sector, projects – which are almost always financially supported by Quebec – representing investments of 16 billion have been announced in recent years. We should “probably end up at 20 billion”, according to Mr. Fitzgibbon.

A sign that stabilization is to be expected in the battery sector, the minister insisted on the importance of “executing projects well because people are watching us”.

MM. Fitzgibbon and Bolduc believe that we must also prioritize the innovation zones set up by the Legault government. In this context, we should expect other announcements in the Sherbrooke region (quantum zone) and Bromont (digital technologies), they suggested.

Outwards

Investissement Québec International also has the mandate to stimulate exports. According to the organization, the 4,055 business supports generated 5.1 billion in sales outside Quebec – an annual increase of close to 65%.

Approximately 60% of exports were made to the United States, 31% to the rest of the world and 10% elsewhere in Canada.

As the presidential election approaches next November in the United States, where Republican Donald Trump wishes to once again become tenant of the White House, IQI is well aware of the turbulence that could arise south of the border depending on the result of the next election.

“Exports are never over,” says the vice-president of exports at IQI, Marie-Ève ​​Jean. The job over the next year is to maintain our market shares [aux États-Unis], an extremely important market for Quebec exporters. »

Mme Jean adds that the objective is also to “bring” them to places where “significant growth” is anticipated, such as Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Learn more

  • 2.3 billion
    Value of foreign investments in the province in 2018, before the creation of the international division of Investissement Québec

    Source: Investissement Québec

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