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Message from the ICCC: Canada’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.5%, Green Light for Festivals and Cultural Gatherings in Quebec, Food Sector Exports set to Increase in 2021 in Italy, Italian Startups are on the Rise, A Made in Italy “Smart” Mask, etc.

August 11, 2020

Dear Members and Partners,

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the state of the global economy and of trade between Canada and the world. The ICCC is here to help you get through this difficult period, by supporting you and your international business strategies.



Quebec’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.5%

As more and more sectors of the economy resume operations in Quebec, the unemployment rate fell 1.2 percentage points to 9.5% in July. The employment rate increased by 2.4% in July, an increase greater than observed in the last two months reaching 94.4% of Quebec’s pre-crisis employment rate. Across the country, employment increased by 419,000 (+ 2.4%) in July after increasing 5.8% in June. These increases, combined with the increase observed in May (+290,000), brought employment in Canada down to 1.3 million from its level in February before COVID-19. Learn more here.


Green Light for Festivals and Cultural Gatherings in Quebec

After authorizing gatherings of 250 people in indoor public places (auditoriums, cinemas, amateur sporting events, rental venues, etc.) on August 3rd, the Tourism Minister announced the resumption of festivals and outdoor gatherings as of August 5th. However, organizers must ensure that the number of participants does not exceed 250 people and must make arrangements to enforce safety measures. Learn more here.


“Indefinite” strike at the Port of Montreal

Two unions from the Port of Montreal began an indefinite strike on Monday, August 10th. This new work stoppage comes on top of two four-day strikes in recent weeks. The ICCC, like several organizations in the business community is concerned with the prospect of a prolonged strike and has called on the government to intervene quickly to limit the resulting damage. The Chamber is monitoring the situation and will keep you informed of any developments on the situation.



Food Sector Exports set to Increase in 2021

According to forecasts by the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, exports in the food industry, one of the strongest sectors in Italy, will increase by an average of 11% from 2020-2021. After recording an increase of 3.1% in 2019, the food industry will certainly be affected by the pandemic in 2020, with a decline in growth of around 5% , but the outlook for the sector is positive. According to the University of Pollenzo’s forecasts, 2021 will be a year of recovery, with a growth forecast of 7.7% and a significant increase in exports (+ 11% on average from 2020-2021, specifically for products such as spirits, flour, food equipment, coffee, milk and sweets. Read more here (article in Italian).


Italian Startups are on the Rise

With 11,496 registrations in the second quarter of 2020, the number of startups continues to increase in Italy (+ 2.6% compared to the previous quarter), according to the quarterly report of MISE, InfoCamere and Unioncamere. This also underlines that Lombardy (Milan) is home to more than a quarter of all Italian startups (27.3%) and that the region with the highest density of innovative companies is Trentino Alto Adige where approximately 5.4% of all businesses created in the past 5 years are startups. Click here to find out more (article in Italian).


A Made in Italy “Smart” Mask

Imagine a “smart” mask, able to interact with its environment and communicate with a smartphone! This is what the Narvalo Urban Mask offers, created by the startup Narvalo, a spin-off of Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with Bls, an Italian company specializing in the production of respiratory protection devices. The device, produced entirely in Italy, is classified as an FFP3 protective mask. But what makes it unique is its high filtration qualities, combined with the possibility of communicating with a dedicated application to monitor the quality of the ambient air. To learn more, read the article here (article in Italian).

Our team remains dedicated to answer all your questions and to assist you.

We invite you to visit our website and social media platforms frequently for the latest updates.

Thank you for your continued trust and stay safe.

The ICCC Team |