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Montréal International supports $2.7B in foreign investment and accelerates the green transition

Projects adding value to Greater Montréal’s ecosystems and creating jobs with an average annual salary of nearly $100K

February 26, 2024

Opportunities to support the green transition of Greater Montréal’s economy are garnering growing interest from foreign investors. That is the finding from the Montréal International (MI) 2023 results. The economic development agency supported a total of 87 foreign direct investment projects worth $2.735 billion that created 5,983 jobs where the average annual salary peaks at $97,500. These investments are aligned with the agency’s ongoing transition, prioritizing sustainable projects or projects that fill critical needs in strategic value chains. 

“The higher number of projects that bolster our industries and decarbonize our economy is a demonstration of our commitment,” said Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International. “Cleantech and environmental services projects have reached new heights, while our cutting-edge AI and life sciences ecosystems have continued to gain momentum abroad and have proven to be especially strategic during an economic slowdown.”  

Investors are targeting the green economy 

Some key achievements include eight major projects in the cleantech and environmental services sector worth a total of $643 million in investments, accounting for 24% of investments supported by MI in 2023. For instance, German logistics and shipping company DHL chose Montréal to start rolling out its electric trucks across Canada, while the Norwegian TOMRA subsidiary expanded and acquired equipment to upgrade the recycling process in Québec, including glass. Multinational Schneider Electric also invested into a brand-new AI lab applied to building decarbonization. 

“The whole team is mobilized to support the transformation of our economy, to make it more sustainable, more inclusive, and to create even more wealth for all Quebecers,” stated Jean Laurin, Chair of the Board of Directors of Montréal International. “MI’s agility and talented team is behind its recognition as one of the best economic development agencies in the world, giving the whole metropolitan area a critical boost.”  

Life sciences and Asia shine 

Life sciences and health technologies made its mark once again this year with seven projects worth $421 million. Other cutting-edge sectors such as cybersecurity, IT services and visual effects also performed well, despite a significant slowdown across the broader industry, both in Montréal and around the world.  

Although France and the U.S. remain the top countries of origin of investments, Asian companies have significantly upped their contribution to Montréal’s economy with projects worth $341 million—a 20% increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, with 48 businesses setting up operations in the city in 2023 (compared to 52 in 2022), Greater Montréal remains an attractive destination for new foreign investors. 

Montréal International also presented the results of its initiative rolled out in 2022 – thanks to ad hoc support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) – to help revitalize the East End of Montréal. With the support of its partners, the agency accompanied eight foreign direct investment projects, including four new business locations, worth $254 million. 

International talent in education and healthcare 

In terms of attracting skilled talent to Greater Montréal, MI supported the hiring and/or immigration process for 1,136 skilled foreign workers and international students with local employers. These results stem from an industry diversification strategy aimed at supporting a wider spectrum of local employers, in particular manufacturing, construction and aerospace companies, where labour needs are critical. Some 310 people were hired in the education and healthcare sectors, mostly working as educators and nurses.  

Three new international organization projects 

The city officially welcomed its sixth United Nations office in 2023 with the official launch of UN-Habitat’s local operations. This is the first UN office to have set up in Montréal in over 20 years. Additionally, ICCAIA, the organization representing aerospace manufacturers around the world added a team dedicated to “Net Zero” to its local workforce, strengthening Montréal’s ecosystem of international civil aviation. Finally, MobilityData, whose mission is to enhance traveler’s experience by leveraging existing data, also added a team in Montréal to develop partnerships all around the world. 

Promotional campaign to accelerate Greater Montréal’s green transition 

Lastly, to further enhance efforts to attract investment in 2024, Montréal International presented a brand-new video showcasing Greater Montréal’s assets for cleantech investors and international organizations in sustainable development. Some 25 local partners participated in the video, including Bombardier, BrainBox AI, CDPQ Infra, the CHUM, Hydro-Québec, H55, Kruger, Mila and Sollum. This video, produced with the financial contribution of the City of Montréal and the Government of Canada, will officially premiere in March 2024 as part of a digital campaign to promote building decarbonization, green aviation, transportation electrification and agtech. To learn more about Greater Montréal’s assets for cleantech investors, visit our website

“Montréal International plays a key role in the Greater Montréal area’s economic development and international profile. Thanks to the regular funding agreement and additional ad hoc assistance for the clean technology sector, Montréal’s East End, and the aerospace industry, CED has enabled Montréal International to increase its efforts in these critical sectors to give the helping hand needed for the recovery. CED is here to support projects that result from promotion and attraction efforts that meet government priorities and ensure significant economic spin-offs, such as H55 and UN-Habitat opening their offices here. There is no doubt in my mind that Montréal International, with CED’s usual assistance, will continue to leverage the assets of the metropolis’s flourishing ecosystem and enable it to shine even more!” 

  • The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Hochelaga, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions 

“Québec stands out on the international scene as a leader in the ecological transition. I am proud of our government’s support for Montréal International. The results unveiled today contribute to the reputation of Québec and its partners in sustainable economic development.” 

  • Martine Biron, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women 


“Montréal International generates high-paying jobs in strategic fields throughout the metropolitan area, benefiting all of Québec. Despite the current global economic uncertainty, Montréal International continues to attract new head offices, structuring foreign investments and a skilled workforce. By supporting more sustainable projects, Montréal International is also contributing to a green and sustainable economic transition, which goes hand in hand with economic development.”  

  • Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal 

“2023 was an exceptional year for Longueuil, with investments totalling $244 million in various sectors, an increase of more than 60% over the previous year. This performance is linked to the vitality and growing attractiveness of our agglomeration, as well as to the dynamism and synergies on the ground. I would like to thank the teams at Montréal International and our agglomeration for their outstanding collaboration, as well as for their constant efforts to attract companies committed to the green economy and decarbonization, notably as part of our aerospace innovation zone project, of which Longueuil is one of the three poles. We were able to benefit from their network of contacts and expertise during our mission to the Paris Air Show last June. In closing, I’d like to highlight a number of initiatives undertaken by Montréal International that are particularly promising for our community, including the recruitment of teachers from France, helping to alleviate the shortage of qualified education workers in our region.” 

  • Catherine Fournier, Mayor of the City of Longueuil

“When it comes to attracting major international companies and the best talent on the planet, all the key actors across Greater Montréal need to work together. The work supported by the City of Laval contributes to shine a light on its economic dynamism, the quality of life it has to offer along with a business-friendly environment. All the foundations are in place to build on this momentum and continue to develop innovative sectors such as artificial intelligence, life sciences and health technologies.” 

  • Stéphane Boyer, Mayor of the City of Laval