October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Foreign investment in Montreal | Record half year

Foreign investment in Montreal |  Record half year

The pandemic did not slow foreign investment on the ground. At a record $ 1.86 billion in Montreal International, 40 projects were launched and 6,300 jobs were created or maintained from January to June 2021.


Isabelle Mass

Isabelle Mass
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One billion more than 2017

On the same date, last year, Montreal International recorded $ 1.4 billion and foreign investment in the order of 37 projects. These are 2.233 billion for the full year 2020. In 2017, for the medium term, this total was 871 million. “Montreal is selling better than it did 10 years ago,” Montreal International CEO Stefan Pocket explained in an interview. “The idea of ​​doing business there has gradually grown. Artificial intelligence also has a lot to do with the space we occupy. This is a tech city where something is happening. “

The CEO thinks the first half of this year was “great”. “Our best,” he said. Interestingly, we have 24 COVID-19 children or files that opened after March 2020 after the boundaries were closed. These are not just pre-pandemic projects. “

Priority sectors during the COVID-19 period

Company teams quickly analyzed areas that are experiencing growth despite COVID-19: video games, cyber‌security and especially artificial intelligence. “Montreal is a well-functioning sector,” said Stefan Pocket.

Photo by Marco Campanozi, archived by the Press

Stefan Pocket, CEO of Montreal International

Alexander Lagarde, vice president of foreign investment at Montreal International, said: “We have high hopes for good markets.” France represents 35% of our first-half results; United States (especially the west coast), 60%. But that doesn’t stop us from diversifying our operations in markets that don’t have a brand image. Our 40 projects, which closed on June 30, came from 13 countries (Finland, Turkey, Lebanon, Germany, United Kingdom, Tunisia, etc.). We are also a university town with a good student pool. “

Montreal International expects investment to reach $ 2.5 billion to $ 3 billion by December. “Despite the economic uncertainty and diversity, the pipeline of projects that we can restore is still good,” said Alexander Lagarde.

Virtual missions

Despite border closures, Montreal International conducted commercial operations, not virtual. “We’ve taken 348 people since the beginning of the year, that’s a lot,” Stefan Pocket said.

Traveling has allowed Montreal International to set foot in rare or infrequent places such as Cameroon. “If we had to take a plane, we would have tried Cameroon and accepted Stefan Pocket. We would definitely go there on a virtual mission.”

The company also ensures continuous recruitment through a new site created at home (Talent‌montrial.com). “There are also 35,000 people on the planet from the Maghreb who want to work in Colombia, Cameroon, Belgium, France and Montreal,” Mr Pocket said. Mainly belonging to the IT sector. ”

Future hybrid model

When the pandemic hit the past, MM. Pocket and Lagarde are expected to start and close deals back from travel and face-to-face meetings. But virtual activities are also positive. “There will be people on the planes, but it would be a little silly to abandon the good practices we have developed and are working on during the epidemic,” the CEO said.

“We have markets that have no choice but to be physical, because our existence guarantees the seriousness of our policy, in some European countries or Japan, Alexander Lagarde continues. But the pandemic has given us flexibility in terms of prospecting strategy.”

For a bustling city center

Montreal considers foreign cooperation as a lever for the economic revival of the International City Center. “Over the past three years, we have attracted over 3 billion investments that have created over 12 billion jobs,” Stephen Pocket calculated. This is the whole place Ville Mary! Since the beginning of this year, $ 1 billion has been invested in 3,398 jobs. In the end, it’s the people in the office towers, who support when they reopen and to restaurants, shops, convenience stores. Who loves the city center? Foreign investors will help revitalize the city center. ”

Montreal International estimates that foreign subsidiaries represent 1% of companies in Greater Montreal, employ 10% of the workforce and contribute 20% to GDP. Their purchases from Quebec suppliers are worth $ 17 billion a year.

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