The forests of the north yield wood for pulp, paper, and lumber industries, and throughout the north copper, iron, zinc, silver, and gold are mined. Iron ore deposits in the Ungava Bay region have been exploited in recent decades. Asbestos is found in the far north, but more importantly in the Thetford Mines region of the Appalachian Highlands. Jonquière has one of the world's largest aluminum plants.
The small farms of the lowlands yield dairy products, sugar beets, and tobacco. Quebec is second to Ontario among the Canadian provinces in industrial production. Its main manufactures include refined petroleum, food products, beverages, motor vehicles, aircraft, clothing, furniture, iron and steel, chemicals, and metal and paper products. The fur and fishing trades are still important in Quebec. The service sector has grown significantly since 1970. Although many anglophone businesses have abandoned the Montreal area since the 1960s in response to separatist agitation and provincial laws requiring the nearly exclusive use of French, Quebec continues to be a center of international commerce. Montreal and Quebec city are both tourist magnets.
Quebec has many universities, including Bishop's Univ., at Lennoxville; Concordia Univ., McGill Univ., and the Univ. of Montreal, at Montreal; Laval Univ., at Quebec city; the Univ. of Sherbrooke, at Sherbrooke; and the Univ. of Quebec, with an administrative center at Sainte-Foy and campuses at Chicoutimi, Hull, Montreal, Rimouski, Rouyn, and Trois Rivières.