< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The economic development corporations of Port-Cartier and Sept-Îles made the announcement on Wednesday morning. (File photo)
The economic development corporations of Port-Cartier and Sept-Îles are merging their two industrial-port zones ( IP zones) to make one.
The merger of these two zones is the result of an agreement between Développement économique Sept-Îles and Développement économique Port-Cartier, in partnership with the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development. x27;Energy of Quebec (MEIE). The development of these areas comes from the maritime strategy of Quebec entitled Avantage Saint-Laurent.
The 17 industrial-port zones of Quebec were created in 2016, under the government of Philippe Couillard, with the aim of attracting new investors from abroad to the ports of the St. Lawrence.
< p class="e-p">Last fall, the government of François Legault invited the IP zones of Quebec located near each other to join forces and merge. The Director General of Développement économique Sept-Îles, Paul Lavoie, saw an opportunity to combine the positive elements of the two zones, for the benefit of both cities.
From left to right: Pierre D. Gagnon, General Manager of the Port of Sept- Îles, Bernard Gauthier, Industrial Commissioner of Port-Cartier Economic Development, and Paul Lavoie, General Manager of Sept-Îles Economic Development.
I think it can serve as a reminder that we can work together to develop our sectors, he says. Our economies are intimately linked and we must walk hand in hand to seek gains that will bring us the best results.
Despite the amounts provided for in the budget envelopes of the Advantage Saint -Laurent, Quebec has not invested any money in merging the two areas. Quebec mainly offered logistical support in the process, says Paul Lavoie.
The merger is in no way an administrative restructuring, he clarified.
“It's more of a coup advertising that will allow us to consolidate our presence in front of potential partners.
— Paul Lavoie, General Manager of Développement économique Sept-Îles
According to him, the sum of the commercial activities of the two zones represents nearly 15% of Quebec's annual exports .
Economic Development Port-Cartier hopes for its part that the merger will lead to better cohesion in the eyes of their partners. Its managing director says the union seemed like a good idea to him after a business trip to Sweden last year.
“When there are 10 organizations going through one after the other, it is sure that there is information and reflection that is lost. Whereas now, if you have two IP zones in one, you have a single voice and firmer priorities. »
— Bernard Gauthier, General Manager of Port-Cartier Economic Development
By default, due to their proximity, the two IP zones have maintained a kind of competition over the time, especially to land contracts and potential investors, according to Bernard Gauthier. The merger aims to reduce this rivalry.
In a global market context, it's no longer our neighbors, the competitors, it's the world, says Mr. Gauthier. That's why we believe that our association will benefit us for the next few years.
For the mayor of Port-Cartier, Alain Thibault, the grouping of zones is a logical continuation of the mutual cooperation agreement concluded with the Port of Sept-Îles in 2019.
“I have always seen Sept-Îles as a partner and not as a competitor. Geographically speaking, it's only natural to group together. »
— Alain Thibault, Mayor of Port-Cartier
The mayor predicts that the merger of the first two IP zones at the mouth of the St. best showcase internationally. Port-Cartier provides an ideal complementarity to the service offer of Sept-Îles, he indicates.
The port of Sept-Îles works mainly in the transport sector. heavy transhipment, in particular with the transit of metals and minerals to international markets. Port-Cartier can offer a completely different type of transhipment, as for goods, for example, argues Mr. Thibault. This is really great news for me today.