The business community pushes to make Greater Montréal more attractive to foreign investors

Montréal, November 4, 2016 – Montréal’s economic, institutional and industry players today attended the first Business Attractiveness Forum organized by Montréal International to find concrete solutions to issues affecting the region’s economic attractiveness on the international stage.

“We are facing a demographic crunch, which means that Greater Montréal needs to look past national borders to achieve growth. In other words, to create wealth for our region, we must help local companies export worldwide and work on attracting foreign talent and investment,” stated Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International.

The Forum will feature hands-on workshops where business managers, foreign subsidiary managers and key players who are directly involved in the region’s economy can share their views on five key issues that have an impact on the city’s ability to attract businesses: foreign talent, education, the digital revolution, promotion, and support services for foreign investors.

“A competitive investment climate helps all businesses in Greater Montréal—whether big or small, local or foreign. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get together and come up with solutions to issues that affect our main business attractiveness factors,” added Mr. Bolduc.

This event is the result of Montréal International working closely with some 15 business leaders in the metropolitan area and members of the Greater Montréal Attractiveness Council, chaired by L. Jacques Ménard, Chair of the Board of Directors of BMO Nesbitt Burns, President of BMO Financial Group, Québec, and Chair of the Board of Directors of Montréal International. 

Tribute luncheon honouring foreign subsidiaries

The Attractiveness Forum will also be an opportunity to honour foreign subsidiaries that have contributed to the Québec and Canadian economy.

“According to the recently released Barton Report, Canada must attract more foreign investment to give impetus to Canadian companies and help fund infrastructure and innovation,” said Mr. Ménard. “On a smaller scale, Greater Montréal alone is home to some 2,000 foreign subsidiaries. While those subsidiaries make up only 1% of businesses, they have a significant multiplier effect, accounting for 10% of jobs and 20% of the region’s GDP.”

A foreign company that locates in Greater Montréal drives innovation by bringing new technologies, unique manufacturing processes, R&D activities, higher wages and greater productivity gains. Attracting and retaining foreign investment also boosts exports. In 2013, multinationals under foreign control in Canada accounted for 50% of all exported goods and 37% of R&D expenditures.

Support from public and private sectors

Representatives from three levels of government will be attending the event, including Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy; Rita de Santis, Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions; and Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal.

“The global economy is changing, especially due to the digital technologies that have transformed the way we live and work. Canada can be the leader in this new economy with its highly skilled and educated population that is so diverse, providing an inexhaustible source of innovation. This is even more true for Montréal and I welcome this initiative by Montréal International, which will enable us to find ways to stimulate foreign investment and help local businesses attract top talent in order to expand and create good jobs. These are priorities shared by the Canadian government,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions.

“We are building an economy for the 21st century in Québec, one that is modern, diversified and open to the world. Our strengths include our strategic position, skilled workforce, well-supported innovation processes, world-class research infrastructure and effective tools that will help our companies grow and attract foreign investors. This Forum is an excellent opportunity to further promote Montréal by focusing on the city’s quality of life and  industry clusters that bring together businesses, academia and financial players in key industries such as life sciences, information and communications technologies and aerospace,” stated Minister Anglade.

“Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, which generate no less than 80% of the world’s GDP. There is no doubt that big cities have become economic giants. It is therefore crucial that we make Greater Montréal more competitive and more attractive to businesses, as the city plays a key role in shining a global spotlight on Québec and Canada,” said Mayor Coderre.

The Business Attractiveness Forum was organized in cooperation with BMO Financial Group, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Power Corporation of Canada and SAP. Other sponsors who supported the event include National Bank, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Investissement Québec (tribute luncheon partners); Cinesite, Fasken Martineau, Google, Ubisoft and PwC (workshop partners).

For more information about the Attractiveness Forum, click here.

For more information about the tribute luncheon, click here.

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