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New records for Montréal International

Significant increase in foreign investment and in the number of new hires for international workers

February 25, 2020

Greater Montréal is more attractive than ever. In 2019, Montréal International (MI) supported 89 direct foreign investment projects, including 58 business set-ups, which means the establishment of more than one new company per week in the region.

The MI team also facilitated the recruitment of more than a thousand international skilled workers, and played a strategic role in the attraction of two international organizations, in addition to creating one from scratch, at the request of the Government of Québec.

These record results were unveiled at a press conference by Stéphane Paquet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montréal International, and Jean Laurin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, in the presence of Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

In 2019, Montréal International supported 89 foreign companies in setting up or expanding in the region, representing record investments of $2.642 billion, up 7% compared to 2018 and up 30% compared to 2017. These projects have led to the creation of 7,712 direct jobs and the maintenance of 349 jobs, with an average salary of $84,407.

Once again this year, the high-tech sectors remain the economic pillars of Greater Montréal and showcase the region’s know-how on the international scene. Accounting for more than half of the investments supported by MI in 2019, the software, aerospace, visual effects & animation, video games and artificial intelligence sectors are well to the fore. All of the projects originate from three geographic regions, namely the Americas (52%), Europe (33%) and Asia-Pacific (15%).

For the second year, the MI team continued its activities for promoting and prospecting high-potential international entrepreneurs. Its efforts paid off, with 11 start-ups deciding to settle in Greater Montréal during the year.

 International talent

In 2019, Montréal International helped recruit 1,122 experienced skilled workers, an increase of more than 75% over the previous year. This was achieved through 21 international recruitment missions in which 229 businesses from Greater Montréal took part.

During the past year, the I Choose Montréal initiative, launched by Montréal International in collaboration with the Québec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI), made contact with more than 10,300 international students already in the region to promote the benefits of a life project in Montréal. The attraction activities engendered seven recruitment missions and three virtual fairs, which led to encounters with more than 5,500 candidates abroad.

Montréal International also supports businesses and workers in their immigration procedures. 573 workers and their families (a total of 1,111 people) were thus able to benefit from the organization’s advice for temporary residence.

International organizations

During 2019, MI also attracted two new international organizations to Montréal, while providing support to 42 organizations which benefited from 150 strategic interventions.

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition organization thus moved its headquarters from Oxford in the UK to McGill University in Montréal. This organization, whose mission is to promote food security and eradicate famine worldwide, intends to tap into Montréal’s growing reputation as a leader in technology. Meanwhile, Indian organization ZMQ Global chose to establish its international office in Montréal to better support the self-sufficiency of the poorest and most marginalized communities.

Furthermore, with the support of the Government of Québec, Montréal International created the organization dubbed Égides – l’Alliance internationale francophone pour l’égalité et les diversités (international francophone alliance for equality and diversity), which acts in the interest of LGBTQI people.


“Montréal International had an exceptional year. Every week, at least one foreign company chose to set up shop in Greater Montréal. I’ve never seen anything like it! And the figures are equally impressive for the hiring of international skilled workers. I am proud of these results, which bear out Montréal International’s vital contribution to the economic growth of Greater Montréal.”

− Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International


“These results represent the work of an outstanding community of 80 experienced and multilingual professionals who deliver record performances year after year and who, through their daily actions, help to increase the prosperity of all Quebecers. We must continue to back this team of dedicated specialists who are determined to push the metropolis forward.”

 − Jean Laurin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Montréal International


“I wish to congratulate the entire Montreal International team for their fourth consecutive year of record results. The Government of Canada is and will always be there with you all to increase the attraction, expansion and retention of foreign companies and international entities. ”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages


“Montréal’s economy is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth and Montréal International’s contribution to its vitality is essential. The results unveiled today demonstrate the scope of the actions carried out by MI throughout the year and their major impact on the city’s economic buoyancy. After a record year, the challenge will be to keep up the pace and go even further, and thanks to the expertise of Montréal International and Montréal’s unfailing attractiveness, we are confident that we will succeed.”

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


“Our universities, our talents, our business environment and our clean, abundant and low-cost energy are the pride of Montréal and Québec. They represent strong arguments for attracting projects and investments from major international players. One of my priorities is to increase foreign investments in strategic business sectors. This strengthens our competitive advantages, incorporates Québec’s expertise into major international supply chains and creates collective wealth. I congratulate Messrs. Jean Laurin and Stéphane Paquet as well as the entire team of Montréal International team for the remarkable results obtained in 2019 and for their contribution to the economic development of our metropolis and Québec. ”

– Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière Region


“Through its work, its commitment and its vision, Montréal International contributes enormously to the economic development of Greater Montréal and to its international repute. Its success in attracting, retaining and expanding foreign investment, international talent and international organizations is perfectly in line with Québec’s International Vision that I unveiled last November. The main objective is to focus more on economic diplomacy, which will better ensure our prosperity and development. I can assure you that the Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie will continue to support MI in its growth efforts, because we share objectives and a common vision: to make Québec more prosperous and to raise the standard of living of all Quebecers.”

– Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie


“We have every reason to be delighted with Montréal International’s performance and its ripple effect on the metropolitan region’s economy. The metropolis plays a driving role in the development of Québec’s economy, accounting for nearly 56% of the province’s GDP. Thanks to its recognized dynamism and exceptional expertise, Montréal International undoubtedly contributes to the city’s competitiveness and international reputation.”

– Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region