What do Boston, Manchester, Melbourne, Philadelphia and Seattle have in common? They are among the world’s most prosperous cities after having implemented turnaround plans focused on creating wealth and improving quality of life for residents. If it worked for them, why wouldn’t it work for Montréal? That’s the question BMO Financial Group asked when it commissioned Boston Consulting Group to examine ways to propel economic prosperity in Greater Montréal. The resulting findings are contained in a report titled «Créer un nouvel élan à Montréal » (available soon in English) that was released in February 2014.
Based on knowledge acquired through international benchmarking and from interviews with some 50 Montreal business leaders, the study recognizes that Montréal already has numerous assets to build on. Among other things, it touts the city’s economic diversity and its leadership role in a number of sectors including aeronautics, ICT, health, biotechnology, finance and engineering, to name but a few. It points to the strength and reputation of its universities. It also cites the city’s low operating costs for businesses, favourable fiscal framework for research, as well as its diverse, creative and bilingual workforce and a quality of life that ranks among the best in the world. In short, Montréal can count on an already impressive array of assets.
Nonetheless, the study also points out a number of challenges that need to be addressed such as the poor state of the city’s infrastructure, the chronic underfunding of its universities, as well as issues relating to an aging population and Montréal’s lack of powers with respect to its role as an economic growth engine.
Based on these findings, the report recommends a ten-step action plan to kick-start the revitalization of the metropolis and makes it one of the most prosperous cities in the world.
To this end, the action plan aims to mobilize stakeholders around clear and specific objectives and work under a single brand. It also underlines the importance of attracting, welcoming and retaining strategic talent. Lastly, it suggests other initiatives such as beautifying and repairing the city, adopting policies favourable to the emergence of new international leaders and giving Montréal the powers and fiscal means to become a world-class metropolis.
It is important to note that we all have something to gain by contributing to Montréal’s revitalization and that each and every one of us is an ambassador for the city. Montréal International (Press release) plans to take an active role in the collective effort to propel Greater Montréal to its rightful place as one of the world’s most economically prosperous cities.