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Meet a man who changed the world: Mikhail Gorbachev to address the Board of Trade on October 21


Press Release

Meet a man who changed the world:
Mikhail Gorbachev to address the Board of Trade on October

Montréal, September 13, 2011 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and evenko are pleased to announce that Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), will address Montréal’s business community at a conference luncheon on Friday, October 21, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, as part of the Board of Trade’s “International Leaders” series.

“Mikhail Gorbachev is a visionary leader who changed the world forever with his reforms and political transparency. We are honoured to play host to him and to learn from an actor on the political and economic scene who was front and centre for important moments that have marked our history,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade.

“evenko is proud to partner with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and get involved with the business community by presenting the address of this great man who has made a major contribution to the progress of our modern society,” said Jacques Aubé, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of evenko.  

A major figure of change in the 20th century, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced, beginning in 1985, two unflinchingly bold policies in his country and taught the world the meaning of glasnost (transparency) and perestroika (restructuring). These two concepts were behind the introduction of democracy in Russia and the liberation of Eastern Europe. This context of openness ushered in a new era of trade in Russia, a country that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

A visionary statesman, Mr. Gorbachev signed two disarmament agreements with the United States, considerably reducing the threat of nuclear war. In 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for having helped put an end to 50 years of cold war. 

After stepping down as president of the USSR, Mr. Gorbachev continued to make his presence felt on the political scene and to work to institute his vision of peace. In 1992, he created the Gorbachev Foundation, an international organization dedicated to education in political science and socioeconomics and to reflecting on principles of morality and equity in an era of globalization. In 1993, he created the Green Cross International to study environmental problems that transcend national boundaries.

“Mikhail Gorbachev’s address to the Board of Trade will give the business community the chance to learn more about a promising market, but one that involves certain risks,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Based on his experience, President Gorbachev will help us understand Russia’s past, while offering a unique perspective on its future.”

In March, Quebec Premier Jean Charest signed a cooperative agreement with the Governor of the Leningrad Region to increase economic ties between Quebec and Russia and announced the imminent opening of a Quebec Government Office in Russia, acknowledging the importance of this emerging economy for international trade relations.

President Gorbachev’s influence and tremendous popularity in the West are well known. On March 30, a gala hosted by Sharon Stone and Kevin Spacey was held in London to raise money for the Gorbachev Foundation and launch the Gorbachev Awards, which recognize people who help change the world. Guests paid from $300 to $155,000 to attend the gala and rubbed shoulders with such personalities as Bryan Ferry, the members of The Scorpions, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Shimon Peres.

This Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal event is made possible through the support of Bell and is organized with the cooperation of Bombardier, La Presse and The Gazette. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and Sir Richard Branson have all preceded Mikhail Gorbachev in addressing the Board of Trade as part of the “International Leaders” series.

For details about this event, please visit the Board of Trade Website at

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and 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
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015

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