SGF: Regional investments bearing fruit
In the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands: $550 million invested with partners over 1,200 jobs created
Montréal, May 2, 2002 - While passing through the Gaspé on a regional tour, Claude Blanchet, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF), talked about SGF’s efforts over the past five years to support Québec’s economic development. He also mentioned specific achievements of SGF and its subsidiaries in the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands. A total of $551 million has been invested with private sector partners in nine companies operating in the region, creating 1,200 direct and indirect jobs in the operating phase and the equivalent of over 2,600 person‑year jobs in the construction phase.
"As we come to the end of our five year plan, it is useful to take stock of what we have achieved. In the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands, for example, SGF has invested in two sectors: forest products and agri‑food. It has signed partnership agreements to revitalize companies like Gaspésia and the Newport freezer plant, helping to support regional economic dynamism", said Blanchet. The partners in the Gaspésia project –Tembec, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and SGF Rexfor– gathered in Chandler for a presentation to the employees and to announce their plans for modernizing the mill. Blanchet also highlighted the work done by SGF subsidiary SGF Rexfor, which has generated projects totaling over $1.5 billion in the last year alone.
In its 1998-2002 five year plan, SGF committed to investing $2 billion so as to generate total investments of $10 billion in ten sectors of the Québec economy. "To date, we have invested $7.5 billion with our partners. We are confident of reaching our objective by the time we finish implementing our strategic plan. Also, if we look at the impact of our initiatives on the GDP, our investments have generated $4.8 billion in added value, which is equivalent to adding 0.6% to the average annual growth rate of the GDP during this period, i.e., 3.6% instead of 3.0%. Our investments have also led to the creation of 43,000 direct and indirect jobs."
"This spring, SGF deposited its new five year plan with the Government of Québec, Blanchet added, and now more than ever, we will be targeting the economic development of the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands and other regions of Québec. This new plan will focus much more on the recognized strengths of the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands because SGF wants to be one of the major partners in the development of this region."
The mission of the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability. Its objective is to create new plants or new industry sectors in Québec to fill some of the gaps in Québec’s economic fabric. In these projects, totalling at least $10 million, SGF shares the same risks, obligations and return as its partners.
"Since the majority of these major projects are in the construction or startup phase, they do not produce short‑term returns. SGF’s performance must be evaluated over the long term, where its returns would be the same as those in the industry. As of December 31, 2001, nearly 30% of SGF’s investments were in this type of project", concluded Blanchet.
Société générale de financement du Québec