"The break pedal on investment is lifted and Québec increases the speed of economic development" - Jean-Luc Trahan, President and General manager, Québec Manufacturers and Exporters (QME)

    QUEBEC, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - QME President and General Manager,
Jean-Luc Trahan, is satisfied with today's Budget because it provides a
positive signal to manufacturers which are operating under a difficult
economic situation. The current Budget insists on measures to increase
productivity and to improve competitiveness.

    Elimination of the Tax on Capital

    "We are satisfied that the Québec Government decided to eliminate
immediately the tax on capital for manufacturers which is a definite
impediment to investment. We have been asking for this measure for a long
time; it will allow manufacturers to increase their cash flow levels and
invest more to improve productivity", declared Jean-Luc Trahan.
    Ontario announced the elimination of the tax on capital on January 1st,
2008. Québec based manufacturers will thus be able to benefit also immediately
from the elimination of the tax on capital as it is the case with
manufacturers based in Ontario.

    Stimulating Investment of Manufacturers

    "We also are in favor of the introduction of an investment tax credit of
5% for the purchase of manufacturing and processing equipment for all Québec
based manufacturers. Even modulated on the basis of the remoteness of
manufacturers, investment tax credit is still more favorable to productivity
than credit on wages", indicated QME President and General Manager.
    Elimination of the tax on capital and the introduction of an investment
tax credit of 5% will contribute to allow manufacturers to save $163,5M this
    QME are also satisfied with the decision to extend for three years the
accelerated depreciation for manufacturing and processing equipment which is
stimulating as well investment and productivity of manufacturers.

    An Employment Pact to Increase Workers Skills

    "Also, we are pleased to see that the Québec Government will allow Québec
workers to improve their skill levels with the Employment Pact. This new Pact
will also help unemployed workers to acquire new skills and thus improving
their employment capacity", declared Jean-Luc Trahan.

    Answers to a Difficult Economic Situation

    "Overall, the current Budget recognizes the importance of the
manufacturing sector in Québec as the economic engine of Québec. On the other
hand, it also recognizes the difficult situation of our industry. We are
pleased with the measures proposed to manufacturers and we are strongly
encouraging them to capitalize on these opportunities and on the Québec Plan
to help the manufacturing sector, announced on November 23rd, 2007.
Combination of these measures will allow manufacturers to profit from an
environment which favors innovation, productivity, market development and
agility to adjust to international competition and progress in the value
chain", concluded Mr. Trahan.

    About QME

    Québec Manufacturers and Exporters (QME) mission is to favor
competitiveness and increase exports. Québec manufacturing sector is the most
important economic sector with 10 000 businesses which account for 20% of GDP
and employs more than 500 000 workers. Manufacturers are responsible for 75%
of private R&D activities and 86% of Québec exports.

For further information:

For further information: Robert Davis, Vice-President, Public Affairs,
Research and Analysis, QME, (514) 866-7774 (2110), robert.davis@meq.ca

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