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Outstanding 2020 results for Montréal International

February 22, 2021

Despite COVID-19 and the border closure, Greater Montréal continues to attract foreign investors, international organizations, entrepreneurs, as well as foreign workers and international students.

Montréal International’s (MI) 2020 results prove it, as the organization supported foreign investment worth $2.233 billion in the region. MI also supported three international organization projects, which included the creation of the International Centre of Expertise in Montréal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (ICEMAI) from the ground up.

Furthermore, the agency led 12 recruitment missions, including 7 that were entirely online, and supported the hiring of 772 skilled foreign workers, including 237 nurses needed at healthcare facilities. MI’s team has also met over 7,800 international students in 2020, mostly online, in an effort to entice them to study or live in Montréal.

Meetings with over 200 entrepreneurs resulted in 10 new startups setting up shop in Montréal.

“This success comes as a result of the work of 80 experienced and multilingual professionals who were able to quickly pivot and adapt the way we promote Montréal around the world. Through their daily actions, they have helped position Montréal among the most resilient cities in North America,” said Jean Laurin, Chairman of the Board of Montréal International.

“I’m proud of these tremendous results, which not only prove how much Montréal International contributes to our region’s economic vitality, but also show the crucial role international forces play in the economic recovery of Greater Montréal, its downtown area, and Québec as a whole,” added Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International. “It was this excellence that earned Montréal International two top mentions in 2020 when it was recognized as the best economic development agency in the world by both the IEDC and fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times division.”

Record number of foreign investment projects and jobs

In 2020, Montréal International supported a total of 90 projects, which in turn created or maintained 8,192 high-quality jobs, with an average salary of $83,976. These are two records for MI, which used a strong strategy of targeting specific sectors or geographic areas.

The value of these investments amounted to $2.233 billion, which is down 15% compared to 2019. It is nonetheless a remarkable result considering that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates foreign direct investment has gone down 35% around the world in that same period.

Nearly half (49.2 %) of these investments come from Europe, 43.9% from the Americas, and 6.9% from Asia. Foreign investment was linked to a variety of sectors again this year, including computer services, software, artificial intelligence, transportation logistics, life sciences and health technologies sectors, as well as the finance sector.

Montréal is recruiting… online!

The pandemic abruptly halted MI’s in-person recruiting missions across the globe last March, but the results are still impressive: in 2020, Talent Montréal led 12 recruiting missions (including 7 virtual missions on the new website), which resulted in 772 workers getting hired, including 237 nurses. French workers accounted for 75% of these new hires. “Our new website offers an effective new tool to help companies in Greater Montréal with their ongoing recruitment efforts, while also presenting the key arguments to promote the city to top international talent,” said Mr. Paquet.

Artificial intelligence and international organizations

What do the three international organization projects that MI supported in 2020 have in common? Artificial intelligence (AI). One after the other, GEO BON, Future Earth and ICEMAI chose Montréal’s AI ecosystem to establish or expand their presence in the city.

ICEMAI, which was created from the ground up at the initiative of the Québec and Canadian governments, will help drive responsible AI development based on the principles of ethics, human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.


“The Government of Canada has a mission to accompany the country’s businesses and regions into tomorrow’s economy. That is why we will continue to work with Montréal International to promote the metropolis abroad, attract international organizations here and help create good jobs in the Greater Montréal region. It is thanks to such partnerships that we will succeed in creating a greener, more ingenious, more inclusive and more resilient economy. – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

“I would like to commend all the work done by the Montréal International team in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic made it an especially difficult year. Despite the challenging times, the city did well, and was able to maintain its dynamic and attractive allure thanks to its strong identity and invested economic actors, such as Montréal International. The recovery that is shaping up must leverage Montréal’s strengths – such as its lively downtown and its dynamic neighbourhoods – to support our economy, attract new players and make the city greener, more inclusive, and more resilient. The challenges are great, but by working together we can overcome them. – Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal

“With the creation of Investissement Québec International, we have the tools to coordinate our efforts to attract investment and foreign workers while supporting exports by Québec companies. Montréal International shows us that by working hard, in spite of the pandemic, Montréal can still be one of the most attractive places in the world. Congratulations on your results and all the work you did this past year!” – Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation

For more information :

Malika Paradis
TACT Conseil
+1 418 933-2593


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