MONTREAL - Quebec producers of building materials are looking to boost their exports to a growing Russian company.
About 20 unidentified firms met Thursday with a buyer from home renovation company Leroy Merlin Russia, which sources 70 per cent of its products from abroad.
The Russian company has 11 stores, but plans to add 35 more by 2013.
Its parent company is the world's sixth-largest renovation centre company with more than 236 stores in Europe, Brazil, China and Russia, sales of 4.3 billion euros (C$6.6 billion) and more than 2,700 suppliers.
The meetings were facilitated by the Montreal Board of Trade in collaboration with Quebec's economic development department.
Board of trade chief Michel Leblanc said it was an opportunity for business people to network with each other and maybe find future partners.
"For a number of Quebec small and medium-sized companies, Russia is a very attractive and growing market," he stated.
The residential and commercial construction sectors are growing in Russia because of a series of governmental programs.
"The quality of our products and their low cost compared with Russian products make them very attractive," he said.
The primary needs by buyers are in kitchens and basements, home decor, construction equipment and materials, doors and windows as well as gardens and landscaping.
As of 2006, just 0.3 per cent of Quebec's exports were sent to Russia, and 0.9 per cent of its imports came from the country.