A welder working metal in a factory.

Centre-du-Québec intervention strategy

Profile and priorities of a region that boasts a significant manufacturing sector and a number of major regional economic players

Portrait of the region

Territory and population

8 RCMs in two administrative regions: Centre-du-Québec (5 RCMs) and eastern Montérégie (3 RCMs) / 393,604 inhabitants / 116 municipalities / 4.76% of population and 4.84% of GDP / 5 RCMs with strong economic growth (Drummond, Maskoutains, Arthabaska, Bécancour, Pierre De Saurel) and 3 RCMs with low economic growth (Nicolet-Yamaska, L’Érable, Acton) / Low unemployment rate at 5.3% in 2016 versus 7.1% for Quebec. Two Indigenous bands of the Abenaki Nation: Odanak and Wôlinak.


Large share of jobs in manufacturing (21% vs 12% for Qc). Biggest manufacturing region in Quebec, at 23.8% of its GDP. 11th out of 17 Quebec exporting regions. Three large and dynamic urban hubs (Drummondville, St-Hyacinthe, Victoriaville). Three heavily rural RCMs (Acton, Nicolet-Yamaska, L’Érable), whose economy is based largely on farming and forestry. Two RCMs heavily dependent on major contract givers (Pierre De Saurel, Bécancour).


Advantageous geographical position and road network. Diversified and dynamic economic base and large manufacturing sector. Regional economic actors are mobilized and structured. Presence of strategic infrastructure (industrial parks, incubators, coaching services). Developed entrepreneurial culture. Diversified and competitive sources of financing.


Large share of low-technology manufacturers. Few direct manufacturing exports, mainly geared to the US market. Shortage of specialized labour. Steady decline of major contract givers and job losses have hurt the economic dynamics of the Pierre De Saurel and Bécancour RCMs.

Priorities for action

  1. Businesses supported by CED are innovative and growing
    • Priority will be given to SMEs projects for innovating or adopting digital technologies. Projects of SMEs seeking to redirect and structure their product output to meet the demands of new markets so as to draw maximum benefit from their export marketing efforts will also get support.
  2. Businesses and regions supported by CED participate in an economy geared toward clean growth
    • The business office will give priority to pre-start-ups, start-ups and growth of SMEs developing or adopting clean technologies and whose products, services and processes contribute to clean growth. The business office will also support research or technology-transfer organizations whose objectives are to increase the capacity of SMEs to innovate in the field of clean technologies.
  3. Quebec communities benefit from strategic investment that promotes their economic diversification and participation in an inclusive economy
    • Priority will be given to start-up and productivity projects for local and regional SMEs as they contribute to strengthen and diversify the economic base of rural areas and areas of low growth within the territory and maintenance and/or creation of jobs. The business office will work closely and complementarily with local partners to identify the most promising and pivotal projects in low-potential communities and those heavily dependent on major contract-givers.
  4. Indigenous peoples benefit from CED programs and participate in Quebec's economic growth
    • The business office will support projects that contribute to the economic development of Indigenous peoples, for instance projects of enterprises owned by Indigenous people on or off reserves and projects of SMEs not Indigenous-owned but affording economic development opportunities for the Abenaki Nation and its members. The business office will work in concert with the Abenaki Nation and local partners to identify promising projects.

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