In today's world, where economic competition among major urban centres is stiff and the role of cities as engines for the creation of wealth, innovation, and growth must constantly be reinforced, the Board of Trade believes the adoption of such a regional economic strategy is indispensable. There is no doubt in our mind, moreover, that the MMC is the body best-equipped to carry out this economic planning process. On the one hand, the territory under its jurisdiction corresponds closely to the functional economic territory defining the metropolitan area. On the other hand, its structure is well suited to promoting the coherence of the economic actions of all municipalities within its territory, declared Benoit Labonté, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
In its brief, the Board of Trade commends the identification of increasing the collective wealth of metropolitan Montreal as the primary objective of the economic development strategy along with the MMC's identification of its principal partners in the economic success of Montreal. The Board of Trade is also pleased to see that the plan includes a section on the development of follow-up indicators.
Among its more specific comments, the Board of Trade considers that the EDP should highlight the need for the region to surpass itself and clearly underscore Montreal's current unfavourable position with regard to the leading metropolitan economies. Within this context, the Board of Trade recommends that the EDP spell out the conditions of success that must be met for Montreal to make the economic progress necessary to move to the forefront of North American metropolises and the goals to be met over the short, medium, and long term for a variety of indicators other than the growth rate of the GDP.
In the opinion of the Board of Trade, the major challenge for meeting this ambitious economic growth objective is the successful implementation of the EDP. This success will be closely linked to the involvement, the mobilization, and the cohesion of stakeholders in the development of the metropolitan area and their support both for the strategy objectives and the means of action they entail, concluded Labonté.
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 the Greater Montreal 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.