Montréal, November 16, 2015 – A new report released today looks at the performance of the Greater Montréal Area (GMA) on 29 economic indicators and compares the results with those of 18 other major urban centres—14 in North America and 4 in Europe. Prepared by the Institut du Québec (IDQ), the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal (BTMM), and Montréal International, the report covers five of the GMA’s relative economic strengths in terms of economic activity, innovation, human capital, quality of life, and business attractiveness or friendliness. The goal of the report is to provide the solid data and information that decision-makers need as they work to improve the GMA economy even further.
“While Greater Montréal boasts strengths such as quality of life and GDP or productivity growth, and while it remains a competitive environment for foreign companies looking for somewhere to set up shop, it also lags in a few areas, such as innovation and human capital available,” says IDQ president Raymond Bachand.
“Granted the Greater Montréal economy has rebounded in recent years, but it trails other major urban centres in North America when it comes to productivity and per capita net worth. This underscores the need to improve the region’s performance rates in terms of the number of high school and university graduates and the rate at which immigrants are joining the labour force. In fact, the keys to boosting our local economy and overall prosperity are the improving of the calibre and availability of our human capital and the fostering of innovation and business attractiveness,” says BTMM President and CEO Michel Leblanc.
The report includes a specific indicator for business attractiveness, which, according to Montréal International Head Economist Christian Bernard, is not only a first in Greater Montréal’s history, but is also extremely useful for making ongoing comparisons between the GMA and its main economic rivals. “Generating wealth in a small, open economy such as Greater Montréal’s is more dependent than ever on the region’s ability to attract investment and human capital,” adds Mr. Bernard. “Even though the GMA continues to present an attractive environment for foreign businesses and ranks 6th among the 14 North American urban centres listed in the report, the growth of its skilled workforce is the key to making it into the top five. Our main collective challenge is to produce more university graduates while also retaining more students and international strategic workers in the region.”
- Montréal shows encouraging signs of economic growth, but continues to trail most similarly sized North American cities in volume of economic activity.
- Montréal is facing serious challenges in human capital available due to its disturbingly low high school and university graduation rates.
- The GMA lags when it comes to innovation, despite a number of strengths that should push it ahead.
- The superior overall quality of life in the GMA continues to be the region’s strongest asset compared with the other major urban centres analyzed.
- Montréal is a relatively attractive city for companies looking to set up shop in North America.
The complete version of this report is available here.
A webinar on this topic will be presented on December 9 at 11 a.m. EST. Click here for more information.
About the Institut du Québec
A partnership between The Conference Board of Canada and HEC Montréal, the Institut du Québec focuses its research and reports on the economic challenges facing Quebec. The Institute provides tools to both the public and private sectors to help them make intelligent decisions for building a more dynamic, competitive, and prosperous society. www.institutduquebec.ca @InstitutduQC
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal
The mission of the 7,000 member-plus Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (BTMM) is to serve as the mouthpiece of the Montréal business community and promote the region’s prosperity. The Board is actively involved in key economic development sectors based on a platform of engagement, credibility, cooperation, cutting-edge thinking, and proactive approach. The Board also offers a range of specialized services to support the growth of every size of company, at home and abroad.
About Montréal International
Montréal International (MI) acts as an economic driver for Greater Montréal to attract foreign wealth while accelerating the success of its partners and clients. The organization’s mandates include attracting foreign direct investments, international organizations, and international strategic workers, as well as promoting Greater Montréal as a competitive, international environment. MI also strives to identify the priority issues affecting the region’s business attractiveness and to then make recommendations to government on how to support job-creating and high-value-added industries in Québec.
Created in 1996, MI is a not-for-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), and the City of Montréal.
Check out the “Great Business in Greater Montréal” interactive map at http://montrealinternational.com/business-map/.
To become a member of Contact MTL (Greater Montréal’s network of volunteer ambassadors), visit: contactmtl.com.