POLITICS
12/13/2013 05:35 EST | Updated 02/12/2014 05:59 EST

France, Quebec create group to promote collaboration, innovation by business

PARIS - Premier Pauline Marois has announced the creation of a joint France-Quebec working group to foster increased collaboration between industries to spur innovative research.

The group will be headed by Pierre Karl Peladeau, controlling shareholder of the Quebecor media empire, and chairman of the Hydro-Quebec board.

No investment or job creation was announced.

Marois said the group will foster a new impetus for co-operation and help to mobilize resources.

Besides visiting France, Marois will go to Monaco and Belgium before meeting with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday.

The premier also discussed Quebec's effort to make the province more secular.

Hearings are scheduled to start in the new year on the proposed provincial values charter which would ban public employees from wearing obvious religious symbols in the workplace.

Marois discussed the French and Quebec approach during a meeting with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"I believe there is a common vision on the values that a society promotes as well as a respect of everyone's religion that can be expressed through the neutrality of the state," Marois said.

"On this, we agree."