25 years in Montreal International | Successful public-private partnership

That was almost 25 years ago to this day.


Jean Loren and Stephane Paquet
Chairman, President and CEO of Montreal International, respectively

Montreal International (MI) was created with the goal of speaking with one voice and oneself on the international stage, on behalf of the 82 municipalities of Greater Montreal, to create more wealth.

From the start, MI has been distinguished by its unique structure: governments will support the organization if the private sector believes in it enough to fund it as well. The model still stands, a quarter of a century later.

Indeed, MI is this happy combination and this unique formula between the public sector and the private sector: a general mission of economic development with the agility of the most efficient companies. This unique recipe is the envy of other Canadian cities and will contribute to our future success.

successful economic transformation

Do you remember Montreal in 1996? The economy has been slowing, relying mainly on traditional sectors, and the unemployment rate is at 11.6%. However, we had the advantage of being a city open to the world, free trade, with its port and airports, and a wonderful system of higher education.

To make a difference, we had to build on these strengths and revamp our industrial fabric, targeting some highly knowledgeable areas with high potential. Twenty-five years later, the success is undeniable. Et MI a fait sa part d’efforts : l’organisation a contribué à l’attraction de plus de 21 milliards de dollars d’investissements dans la métropole ainsi qu’à l’implantation de près de la moitié des quelque 70 organisations internationales présent in Montreal.

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Along the way, Montreal nonetheless experiences a paradigm shift that is slowly happening around the world. Talent no longer necessarily follows investments… quite the opposite! With the unemployment rate declining and the rapid development of many technological ecosystems around the world, more and more companies are finding it difficult to hire. Not only here, but all over the world. So the MI was launched in 2010 to attract qualified international workers, with the addition of a mandate to attract and retain international students shortly thereafter. Since its inception, the team has supported the recruitment of approximately 3,600 workers and supported nearly 13,000 in their immigration procedures.

On his way over the next 25 years

Today, with solid foundations and a rich diversity of high value-added industries, the economy of Greater Montreal and Quebec enjoys an enviable position in Canada. While it was often at the bottom of the rankings of large cities in terms of economic growth, our city is now back on the first steps of the podium and sometimes holds a leading position in the country.

To continue this transformation, it will be necessary to seize stimulus opportunities and “green” our economy even more. The federal government has just awarded MI special funding to attract world-class companies and strengthen our clean technology ecosystem.

Thus, we will continue our contribution to the development of ecosystems where there are well-paid jobs and where the potential for innovation is high. We will continue – more than ever – to provide international recruitment solutions to companies and convince the largest number of students and qualified workers to pursue a career in Montreal. By expanding and diversifying our talent pool, both Greater Montreal and Quebec are winners.

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Accomplishing this mission of serving the entire city depends on the experience and dedication of a team of 85 employees, backed by a solid network. Whether we think of private companies, partners in economic development, the three levels of government, educational institutions or research centers… the architects of the successes of the Montreal metropolitan area are numerous! It is also important to note that this team is supported by committed, high-quality board members who are all volunteers. MI’s vision has always been based on innovation and boldness; It is not surprising that last year MI was recognized as the best economic development organization in the world.

Together, let’s take the time to celebrate the city’s international successes, which have not only helped transform its economy, but also laid the foundations for a successful recovery. The work is not finished…

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