The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Why position Greater Montréal as an attractive business destination?

Author: Christian Bernard, Vice-President, Strategy and Communications, Montréal International

A city’s business attractiveness is defined by its ability to attract foreign capital, such as foreign investment, international organizations and foreign talent. That’s what Greater Montréal needs to focus on for the region and its businesses to thrive at a time when wealth creation in open economies is more dependent on foreign markets than it has ever been.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes hold and global competition intensifies, the world’s biggest cities must come together to get ahead. And the best place to start is the very first Greater Montréal Attractiveness Forum organized by Montréal International to promote Greater Montréal as an attractive and competitive investment destination.

The event will give the region’s economic, institutional and industry players the opportunity to discuss how business attractiveness can support economic growth, and develop an action plan to boost investment in Greater Montréal.

Hosted by Michelle Boisvert, Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Forum will feature hands-on workshops and a tribute luncheon to honour foreign subsidiaries that have greatly contributed to the region’s economy. The Forum will explore ways to make Greater Montréal more attractive to businesses by focusing on five key topics—foreign talent, education, the digital revolution, support services for investors and promotion.

Participants will try to answer various questions, such as: What should we do to attract and retain more students, entrepreneurs and skilled foreign workers in Greater Montréal? Should we focus more on promoting the benefits of earning a university degree? Can Greater Montréal become a world leader in the digital sector? How can we attract and retain more foreign businesses? How can Greater Montréal use networking to raise its international profile?

We strongly believe the forum will help develop an action plan and secure commitments to improve Greater Montréal’s business attractiveness and bring more foreign investment to the region.

Foreign subsidiaries located in Greater Montréal play a major role in the city’s economy. They make up only 1% of businesses, but they have a significant multiplier effect, accounting for 10% of jobs and 20% of Greater Montréal’s GDP. The reason? They generally pay higher salaries, use more innovative technology, invest more heavily in R&D and achieve higher productivity gains. Top companies include Ubisoft (video games), Ericsson (IT), Technicolor (visual effects), and Pratt & Whitney (aerospace), to name just a few.

Foreign subsidiaries also have a tremendous positive impact on their host city’s local ecosystem and business environment, as they give suppliers access to networks of international contacts and the global supply chain.

If we want to benefit from all that foreign subsidiaries have to offer, we need to make Greater Montréal more competitive globally. Let’s all work together to achieve that goal!

The Greater Montréal Attractiveness Forum will be held at Palais des congrès de Montréal on November 4, 2016, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Register now for the full day event or tribute luncheon only.

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