Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, Quebec’s minister of international relations, made her first trip to Atlanta last week to inaugurate the office that she chose over Miami to be the best entry point to the Southeast.

“We wanted to better position ourselves to take advantage of the growing Southeastern market,” Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay told GlobalAtlanta about her decision to relocate a Quebec government office to Atlanta from Miami.

The minister made her decision a year ago as a part of an international action plan that involved developing more business and diplomatic ties in markets that would be complementary to Quebec’s own industries.

During an interview with GlobalAtlanta, Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay said that Georgia’s aeronautic, automobile, biotechnology, information technology and wood industries would present collaborative opportunities for Quebec businesses.

She also said that she met with representatives from Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office to push forward Georgia’s idea of starting a Southeast U.S.- Canadian partnership that would build business ties between Southeastern states and select Canadian provinces.

Mr. Perdue was not able to meet with Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay, as he was traveling in Europe at the time of her visit, however.

Also during her trip to Atlanta, Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay led a team of Quebec researchers to meet officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group is to work on issues related to global health security, she said.

Stopping pandemics and terrorist activities from occurring is another aspect of Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s plan to work more closely with the U.S., she said.

“Security is very important for us, because we know it’s important to the U.S.,” she told GlobalAtlanta.

But developing a broader understanding of Quebec and the French language is also a part of Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s mandate, and she expects to see more French language exchanges between the U.S. and the Southeast starting up in January when the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques opens in Quebec City.

The center will be devoted to promoting French language learning and developing better contact between French speakers throughout the Americas.

Ginette Chenard, Quebec’s “deleguée” in Atlanta, began representing the government of Quebec here in October, and welcomed Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay during her visit.

In addition to inaugurating the Quebec office, Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay also celebrated Quebec’s National Holiday, or St. Jean Baptiste Day, here on June 24.

She traveled to Los Angeles and Las Vegas after visiting Atlanta.

Story Contacts, Links and Related Stories
Quebec government office – (404) 584-2995.