Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal calls for concerted action to improve Montréal's business environment and encourage private investment

MONTREAL, June 18, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal today unveiled the results of its study, conducted in partnership with Montréal International and the economic development department of the Ville de Montréal. The conclusions of the study, titled Competitiveness of the Greater Montréal Business Environment, call for concerted action to improve the business environment and encourage private investment.

"Most of the companies surveyed don't think the city is more competitive than five years ago and that the business environment has improved. More than one third thinks it has deteriorated. This is cause for concern and requires concrete action immediately," said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

The study confirms that the quality of Greater Montréal's skilled labour is important for its competitiveness. "The business executives polled told us that the city's biggest asset is the quality of its skilled labour, but its availability is still problematic. How much money flows into Montréal is directly tied to our ability to educate our young people and attract qualified workers to pursue their career here. Our crumbling road infrastructure is another big impediment. From these observations, it's clear that decision makers are keenly aware of the challenges facing Quebec and the metropolitan area," continued Leblanc.

The study also reveals the importance of encouraging existing companies to stay here. "One of the effects of the economic crisis and slow recovery are that many jurisdictions are working harder than ever to convince decision makers to invest in and even relocate to their regions. We have to make sure that our incentives are as good as what other North American cities are offering," stressed the Board of Trade's President and CEO.

One of the findings is that Montréal's comparative advantages, particularly, real business costs, are not well known. "We have to make it a priority to promote the city internationally to, among other things, convince head offices to invest in the subsidiaries they have here," added Leblanc.

"Although they are critical of the city's business environment, business executives remain cautiously optimistic. In fact, 58% of the respondents are working on an investment project in the area. What we have to do is set the stage to make sure these investments actually get made," concluded Leblanc.

The purpose of the Board of Trade's study was to investigate how business leaders perceive the city's business environment. The study polled 103 executives of companies based in the metropolitan area. Seventy percent are foreign subsidiaries. The respondents all know Montréal very well and the cities it is competing against to attract new private investments and head offices.

To read the study: http:// www.ccmm.qc.ca/competitivite (in French only).

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local 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.

SOURCE BOARD OF TRADE OF METROPOLITAN MONTREAL

For further information:

Source:
Karine Abdel
Interim Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal Phone:
514 871-4000, extension 4015
kabdel@ccmm.qc.ca

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