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Attracting and retaining head offices: the city’s business community gets mobilized

Montréal, November 30, 2012 – Over 200 decision makers gathered today for the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal’s Strategic Forum on the importance of head offices for the city and strategies for attracting and retaining them.

“Head offices are an essential driver of the city’s economic growth and influence,” says Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “But the economic context has sparked competition to attract private investment. The study we conducted in the spring with Montréal International and the Ville de Montréal showed that the majority of companies believe that the business environment in the Montréal area has not improved in the past five years. This observation points to a major issue: we are lagging other cities, which are stepping up their efforts to attract investment. As a result, the Board of Trade took the initiative to mobilize the business community to discuss this critical issue.”

“Today’s event sends three clear messages,” Michel Leblanc says. “First, the Greater Montréal area business community has to get more actively involved on the international scene. Local businesses have to be the city’s first ambassadors and promote it as an outstanding place to do business and a great place to live. Second, governments must ensure that the fiscal framework is competitive for businesses and individuals and have strategies to attract and retain foreign private investment and head offices. Third, the quality and availability of labour are fundamental. Industrial clusters and all key players have to ensure that the city has the resources to train, attract and retain the talent needed for the growth of head offices. Our policy choices in language and immigration will be decisive.”

“We must be proud of our head offices and realize their full value for our society,” Mr. Leblanc says. “A group effort and increased cooperation among key stakeholders will help us create conditions that are conducive to investment and that strengthen our city, the economic driver of Quebec.”

To consult the program for the Strategic Forum and presentations of conference speakers, click here (in French only).

To consult our study entitled Competitiveness of the Greater Montréal Business Environment, click here (in French only).

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.


Sylvie Paquette
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4015

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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