Business community mobilizes to attract more foreign investment to Greater Montréal

Montréal, November 14, 2016 – With a packed house in attendance, the first Greater Montréal Attractiveness Forum took place on November 4. Some 500 stakeholders from the region’s business, economic and institutional communities joined forces at this event, organized by Montréal International, to highlight the exceptional contribution made by foreign subsidiaries to the local economy and to seek out potential solutions to issues that impact Greater Montréal’s international attractiveness.

“In the current climate, Greater Montréal, Québec and Canada are poised to attract their fair share of foreign investment,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International. “At a time when many western countries are taking a closer look at how open their economies are, Canada has signed the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and made it clear in its economic statement that it intends to bring in increased investment and more foreign workers.”

Five participatory workshops on the main attractiveness factors (foreign talent, education, the digital revolution, economic promotion, and support services for investors) enabled the forum organizers to gather viewpoints from business leaders and foreign subsidiaries, as well as the main economic players working on the ground every day. “A competitive investment environment benefits all businesses in Greater Montréal—whether small or large, local or foreign. Thus, it is in our mutual interest to find solutions to issues that affect our main attractiveness factors,” explained Mr. Bolduc.

Several promising courses of action were suggested, and will be the subject of a white paper. These include providing better support to businesses for their foreign recruiting efforts, raising awareness of the importance of having a diploma, taking advantage of the huge potential offered by the digital revolution, stepping up the promotion of Montréal’s economy on the international stage, and providing a quick and coordinated response to inquiries from foreign investors.

Other highlights of the forum included speeches from the Mayor of Montréal, the four mayors of Montréal’s north and south suburbs, and Minister Dominique Anglade. There was also a presentation by featured speaker Marek Gootman, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Global Engagements at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. Mr. Gootman’s presentation made it clear that major metropolitan regions need to attract and retain foreign investment in order to set themselves apart from the global competition.

Some key figures were also presented. Greater Montréal is ranked as follows:

  • 18th out of the 123 largest world metropolises in terms of attracting foreign investment (new start-ups) per capita (2009–2015)
  • 27th out of the 123 largest world metropolises in terms of venture capital availability per capita (2006–2015)
  • 85th out of the 123 largest world metropolises in terms of total population (2015)

To access the complete presentation click here.

The Greater Montréal Attractiveness Forum was held in collaboration with BMO Financial Group, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Power Corporation of Canada and SAP. Additional partners included National Bank, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Investissement Québec (contributing partners); Cinesite, Fasken Martineau, Google, PwC and Ubisoft (workshop partners).

About Montréal International (

Created in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Québec and Canada, Montreal Metropolitan Community, and Ville de Montréal. Montréal International’s mission is to attract foreign investors, international organizations and strategic talents to the Greater Montréal area.

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