One billion more than in 2017
On the same date last year, Montreal International recorded foreign investment in the order of $1.4 billion and 37 projects. For the full year of 2020, this amount was 2.233 billion. In 2017, in the medium term, the amount stood at 871 million. “Montreal is selling a lot better than it was 10 years ago,” said Stephane Paquette, CEO of Montreal International, in an interview. “The idea of doing business there slowly started to grow. Our position in artificial intelligence also has a lot to do with it. It’s a tech city with something going on.”
The CEO considers the first half of the year a “remarkable one.” “Our best ever,” he says. The interesting thing is that we have 24 COVID-19 children, or files that we have opened after March 2020, after the borders closed. These are not just pre-pandemic projects. “
Priority areas in the time of COVID-19
The organization’s teams quickly analyzed areas that were likely to experience growth despite COVID-19: video games, cyber security and artificial intelligence in particular. “The sector where Montreal is doing well,” says Stephen Paquette.
“We have expanded the possibilities into promising markets,” says Alexandre Lagarde, vice president, foreign investment, Montreal International. “France represents 35% of our first half results; the United States (especially the West Coast), 60%. But this has not stopped us from diversifying our activities in markets where we did not have a brand image. June 30 Our 40 projects that closed on the year come from 13 countries (Finland, Turkey, Lebanon, Germany, United Kingdom, Tunisia, etc.). We are also a university city with a good pool of students.”
Montreal International expects to reach a total investment of $2.5 billion to $3 billion by December. “The pipeline of projects that we have managed to renew is still good despite the economic uncertainty and variants,” noted Alexandre Lagarde.
Despite the border closure, Montreal International has conducted trade missions, but virtual. “We’ve had 348 hires since the beginning of the year, that’s a lot,” says Stephen Paquette.
The trip virtually allowed the Montreal international to set foot in places he was not or only rarely had, such as Cameroon. “I’m not sure if we had to take the plane, we’d try Cameroon, admits Stephen Paquet. We’ll definitely go back there on a virtual mission.”
The organization will also ensure continued recruitment through a new site designed in-house (talentmontreal.com). “We have a pool of 35,000 people from Colombia, Cameroon, Belgium, France and even the Maghreb who want to work in Montreal,” says Mr. Paquet. Mainly from the IT sector. ”
future hybrid model
When pandemics are a thing of the past, M.M. Paquet and Lagarde are expected to return from travel and face-to-face meetings to start and close the contract. But virtual activities will also be promoted. “There will be people on planes, but it would be a little crazy to leave the good practices developed during the pandemic and those that are working,” the CEO said.
“There are markets where we do not have the option of being physically present, as our presence in some European countries or for example in Japan guarantees the seriousness of our approach, continues Alexandre Lagarde. But the pandemic has forced us to take the prospecting strategy. flexibility in terms of
For a bustling city center
Montreal International considers foreign contributions as a lever for the economic revival of the city centre. “Over the past three years, we have attracted more than 3 billion in investments, creating more than 12,000 jobs,” calculates Stephen Paquette. It’s Place Ville Marie in full force! Since the beginning of the year, 1 billion has been invested for 3,398 jobs. Ultimately, it will be the people in office towers when they reopen, and who will support restaurants, shops, convenience stores. Which will bring life to the center of the city. Foreign investors will help revive the city centre. ”
Montreal International estimates that foreign subsidiaries represent 1% of establishments in Greater Montreal, employ 10% of workers and contribute 20% of GDP. The value of their purchases from Quebec suppliers is 17 billion per year.
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