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Montréal International named best economic development agency in the world

A nomination supported by the Greater Montréal business community

October 15, 2020

Montréal International (MI) was officially recognized as the best economic development agency in the world, a prestigious award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest membership organization serving economic developers globally, with more than 5,000 members.

The jury members above all commended Montréal International’s strategic vision, its overall economic impact on the community as well as its ability to develop expertise and the professional success of its employees. Numerous leading organizations in the city rallied in support of MI’s nomination, including its government partners, higher education institutions as well as local and foreign companies, who offered concrete examples of its vital contribution to the economic growth of Québec.

Montréal International also stood out for its public and private business partnership, as well as its record year-over-year performances in welcoming foreign investors, international organizations as well as talent from all over the world.

“I don’t believe there is better recognition in economic development! This achievement is the result of a constant, almost 25-year long effort by the entire MI team as well as my predecessors to promote Greater Montréal on the international scene,” said Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International. “We received extraordinary support from various actors in Greater Montréal’s business community, with 31 letters of support in just a few days. This is concrete proof that we can all quickly mobilize to push projects forward and support Québec’s recovery.”

Québec Premier François Legault also hailed this announcement, “We are incredibly proud to see Montréal International named the best economic development agency in the world. Since our election, this government has worked to reduce Québec’s wealth gap with the rest of Canada. This requires an increase in the average salary of Quebecers and I am particularly pleased to see that the investments Montréal International has attracted have generated such well-compensated jobs.  Montréal International is a valuable partner and we hope it continues its hard work.”

“Montréal International is more than just an economic development agency. It is a team of experts and valued partners who are dedicated to positioning Montréal as a city known the world over for its innovation and technological prowess and for the drawing power of its people. Montréal International is indispensable to building strong bridges between key stakeholders and is an essential structure that enhances the performance of our economic engine. The recognition we are giving Montréal International today is well deserved as they never cease to impress us with the colossal work they do, day in day out—despite some very tricky situations. We are proud to work with them to create good jobs and revitalize Canada’s economy thanks to their ability to highlight Montréal’s strong power of attraction,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions.

“Year after year, Montréal International contributes to raising the city’s profile. In this year marked by an unprecedented health crisis, Montréal International stayed the course and was able to post record results. Its exceptional work allows Montréal to navigate the crisis with confidence and to envisage a successful recovery once the pandemic is contained. I am proud to underscore the prestigious distinction awarded by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to Montréal International, the best economic development agency in the world. I want to thank the entire Montréal International team for its dedication, vision and desire to always push the boundaries to make the city a world leader in economic development,” said Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the CMM.

IEDC also awarded two silver awards to Montréal International for its website redesign as well as for its international students portal.

For all the details on these awards, see

Record results year over year

While the world’s largest cities use determination and creativity to compete to attract the best talent and investment, even during a pandemic, Montréal International continues to post record results.

In 2019, MI supported 89 direct foreign investment projects, including 58 new arrivals, which represents the arrival of more than one new company per week to Greater Montréal. The investments recorded total $2.642 billion, up 7% from 2018 and 30% from 2017. These projects helped to create 7,700 direct jobs, with an average salary of $84,407.

The MI team also facilitated in 2019 the recruitment of more than one thousand qualified international workers and played a strategic role in the establishment of two international organizations in addition to creating a completely new one at the request of the Government of Québec.

Read the 2019 activity report