Interview with Ms. Brassard & Mr. Gosselin: ブラッサード女史とゴセラン氏のインタビュー
Interview Series #19 (@Quebec City): インタビュー＃１９ Mr. Denis Gosselin and Ms. Annie Brassard
Interviewees: Ms. Annie Brassard, Commissioner General, International Relations Commission, Quebec City Mr. Denis Gosselin, Director, Investment, Prospecting, POLE （Date: August 31, 2007; Place: Quebec City Building, 2 des Jardins; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao）
Ms. Annie Brassard and Mr. Denis Gosselin kindly took time to meet me in spite of their extremely busy schedule due to the sudden death of their mayor about a week before our meeting. In interviewing these two distinguished representatives of the city, I was impressed with their positive thinking, clearly looking into the future of Quebec beyond the unexpected hardship at hand. Especially noteworthy were their international perspectives in performing their duties for Quebec City, as explained in the following summary.
Summary of Ms. Brassard’s Interview
As Commissioner General of Quebec City’s International Relations Commission, I am in charge of international relations, including immigration programs and international protocols for the City of Quebec. It is not very common for a city to have this kind of commission, but Quebec City needs one because it is a provincial capital and also a city to encourage and coordinate its key institutions to develop partnerships with francophone cities in other countries. We also have a responsibility to help immigrants settle down in the city and integrate themselves with Quebec society socially as well as professionally. Of course, we are closely working with the provincial government and the federal government regarding international relations and foreign affairs, for example, on our 400th anniversary of Quebec City for 2008.
We are interested in working with municipalities in foreign countries like Japan, not in general terms such as sister city relations, but in specific terms focusing on business, educational, institutional, and other specific fields. Our specific areas of expertise include heritage strategies and conservation, rehabilitation of old urban areas, water and waste management, as well as a number of engineering fields such as geomatics. We are also good at general urban maintenance services during the winter season such as snow plowing. If there is any Japanese municipality that is interested in these specific fields or services, we would like to work with them.
Summary of Mr. Gosselin’s Interview
I am the Director for Foreign Investment Prospecting at POLE, the Economic Development Agency for the Greater Quebec City Metropolitan Area. The first line of our business is to support the most dynamic sectors in the region, namely, health science, applied technology, and manufacturing as clusters of excellence. The second line of business is to promote investment and attract business into this region, and the third line is to help train local businesses to achieve best practices in terms of productivity, innovation, quality, etc. POLE is financially supported by three levels of government and also by self-generating revenues.
As is widely known by now, Quebec City is one of the fastest growing cities as well as one of the most livable and sustainable cities in North America, according to recent surveys published in international magazines. A major reason for this extraordinary achievement is that we have developed “brain industries,” such as optics, photonics, life science industries, etc., which are clean and environment friendly. The high quality of life in Quebec City is attracting intelligent people and, as a result, Quebec City has the highest concentration of researchers in terms of density in Canada.
Regarding Japanese business, we have not been too active in interacting with Japanese companies, because Japan is a little too far and we are yet to learn how to do business in Japan. But the number of Japanese-affiliated companies in Quebec City is now 17 (including Olympus, Fujitsu and Asahi Glass) out of 140 foreign-affiliated companies in Quebec City, and we are trying to attract more Japanese companies in most advanced fields such as optics, photonics, health science, and security business. Any Japanese business that is interested in these areas would be welcome to Quebec City. References: Quebec City: Official Website: http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca POLE, Quebec: http://www.pole-qca.ca/index_en.php
(Written by T. Miyao) ------------------------------------------------------------- アニー・ブラッサード女史とデニ・ゴセラン氏 ブラッサード女史：ケベック市国際関係委員会・委員長 ゴセラン氏：POLEディレクター （2007年8月31日、ケベック市庁舎にて；聞き手：宮尾尊弘）