Over $630M in foreign investment attracted to Greater Montréal - 13th Annual General Meeting of Montréal International



    MONTREAL, April 24 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of its 13th Annual
General Meeting held yesterday, Montréal International (MI) presented its
results for 2008 in front of over 150 members and partners. MI also appointed
two new members to its Board of Directors and renewed the mandates of 6 more.
    "Despite a context marked by the global economic crisis and increased
international competition, 2008 was a good year for Montréal International and
the metropolitan area," declared MI President and Chief Executive Officer
André Gamache. "Thanks in large part to its many partnerships and the diligent
efforts of its personnel, MI generated solid economic spinoffs for Greater
Montréal and contributed to enhance the region's international status."

    Foreign investment

    In 2008, Montréal International helped to attract $630.7 million in
foreign investments to Greater Montréal, most of which was in the
high-technology sectors. These investments, 55% of which are from North
America and 43% from Europe, will generate or retain over 3,200 jobs in the
metropolitan area.

    International organizations

    In 2008, MI was instrumental in inaugurating three new international
organizations in Montréal: the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of
Commerce (IGLCC), the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI), and
Alternatives International (AlterInter). The year 2008 was also a time of
expansion for Montréal's international design network. In September, the
International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) ratified a
partnership agreement with the International Council of Societies of
Industrial Design (Icsid) and the International Council of Graphic Design
Associations (Icograda). By uniting under the IDA banner (International Design
Alliance), these three international organizations will be much better
positioned to pursue joint ventures on the global scale. In addition, the
close cooperation among MI, Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès de
Montréal has paved the way for a series of upcoming international meetings in
Montréal: the 2012 congress of the World Information Technology and Services
Alliance (WITSA), as well as the 9th, 10th and 11th world assemblies of
CIVICUS, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

    Skilled foreign workers

    Also in 2008, MI's International Mobility Services team processed 647
skilled foreign worker files on behalf of 159 companies, institutions and
international organizations. These cases translated into a total of 1,017
people who benefitted from MI's professional services. This specialized
foreign workforce represents an overall payroll of more than $92 million over
three years, and contributes to enhance Greater Montréal's expertise and
competitiveness.

    Innovation

    In 2008, MI completed three projects supporting the development of
innovation in Greater Montréal. In May, MI officially backed the founding of
the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM), an innovative, original
initiative to meet the challenges inherent in drug development in the Montréal
region. MI then organized Innovation Montréal 2008, an international
conference that took place on October 6th and 7th. This important event was
attended by over 550 participants and brought together some thirty leaders in
innovation from Europe, Asia and North America. The presenters discussed best
business practices in the area of innovation and examined bold new models for
business development. Finally, MI and the Toronto Region Research Alliance
(TRRA) partnered on a study to examine the impacts of the Scientific Research
and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program on investment by
large multinationals in key sectors of the Montréal and Toronto metropolitan
areas.

    International promotion of Greater Montréal

    In terms of promotion, two activities were particularly noteworthy in
2008. In collaboration with its partners, MI organized a visit for some twenty
foreign diplomats to the Montréal region in order to familiarize them with two
of the metropolitan region's leading-edge sectors: environmental technologies,
and information and communications technologies. Later, in the fall, MI
organized a promotional mission to Boston coinciding with a stop of the Kooza
tour by Cirque du Soleil. The delegation met with some twenty executives from
companies in the region and outlined for them the numerous investment
opportunities in Greater Montréal.

    Private and public sector contributions

    In 2008, Montréal International collected a million dollars in private
funding from its hundred members, and over eight million more from the
Governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal
and the City of Montréal. "Once again, our members and partners, and the
metropolitan area's many institutions and businesses have demonstrated their
confidence in the mission and mandates of Montréal International. Their
financial support is indispensable for us, and we thank them most sincerely,"
concluded Gamache.

    Board of Directors

    Montréal International appointed two new members from the private sector
to its Board of Directors:

    
    - Mr. Richard Filion, President, Regroupement des collèges du Montréal
      métropolitain (metropolitan Montréal college alliance) ;
    - Dr. Judith Woodsworth, President and Vice-Chancellor, Concordia
      University.

    In the same order, here are the six Directors from the private sector
whose appointments were renewed:

    - Mr. Luc Benoît, President, Tecsult Group;
    - Mr. Jean-Jacques Bourgeault, Corporate Director;
    - Mr. Pierre Brunet, Corporate Director;
    - Mr. Renaud Caron, Senior Vice President - Strategic Development, CGI
      Group;
    - Mr. Marc Parent, President of the Board of Directors, Aéro Montréal,
      and Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, CAE ;
    - Mr. Jean-Pierre Sauriol, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dessau.

    Mr. Luis Miranda, Member of the Executive Committee of the City of
Montréal and Mayor of the Anjou Borough, also joined MI's Board of Directors.

    Finally, Montréal International sincerely thanks the Directors who left
its Board, for their valuable contribution:

    - Mr. Paul L'Archevêque, former President of the Board of Directors,
      Montréal InVivo, and former President and Chief Executive Officer,
      Génome Québec;
    - Mr. André Marcheterre, Corporate Director;
    - Ms. Catherine Sévigny, City Councillor, Peter-McGill District,
      Ville-Marie Borough; Member of the Executive Committee, responsible for
      Culture, City of Montréal;
    - Mr. Luc Vinet, Rector, Université de Montréal.
    

    Montréal International's Activity Report 2008 is available on its
website: www.montrealinternational.com.

    About Montréal International

    Montréal International was created in 1996 as a result of a
private/public partnership. Its mission is to contribute to the economic
development of Greater Montréal and to enhance its international status. Its
mandates include attracting foreign investment, international organizations
and qualified workforce, and supporting the development of innovation and
metropolitan clusters. Montréal International is financed by the private
sector, the Governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de
Montréal and the City of Montréal. For more information, visit
www.montrealinternational.com.




For further information:

For further information: Benoît Lefèvre, Communications Advisor,
Montréal International, (514) 987-9323, Cell: (514) 677-2498,
benoit.lefevre@montrealinternational.com


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