Montreal is one of the most resilient cities in North America


Despite COVID-19 and the border closure, Greater Montreal continues to attract foreign investors, international organizations, entrepreneurs, as well as foreign workers and international students. Montréal International's (MI) 2020 results prove it, as the organization supported foreign investment worth $2.233 billion in the region. MI also supported three international organization projects, which included the creation of the International Centre of Expertise in Montréal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (ICEMAI) from the ground up.

Furthermore, the agency led 12 recruitment missions, including 7 that were entirely online, and supported the hiring of 772 skilled foreign workers, including 237 nurses needed at healthcare facilities. MI's team has also met over 7,800 international students in 2020, mostly online, in an effort to entice them to study or live in Montreal.

Meetings with over 200 entrepreneurs resulted in 10 new startups setting up shop in Montreal.

"This success comes as a result of the work of 80 experienced and multilingual professionals who were able to quickly pivot and adapt the way we promote Montréal around the world. Through their daily actions, they have helped position Montreal among the most resilient cities in North America," said Jean Laurin, Chairman of the Board of Montréal International.

"I'm proud of these tremendous results, which not only prove how much Montréal International contributes to our region's economic vitality, but also show the crucial role international forces play in the economic recovery of Greater Montréal, its downtown area, and Québec as a whole," added Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International. "It was this excellence that earned Montréal International two top mentions in 2020 when it was recognized as the best economic development agency in the world by both the IEDC and fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times division."

Record number of foreign investment projects and jobs

In 2020, Montréal International supported a total of 90 projects, which in turn created or maintained 8,192 high-quality jobs, with an average salary of $83,976. These are two records for MI, which used a strong strategy of targeting specific sectors or geographic areas.

The value of these investments amounted to $2.233 billion, which is down 15% compared to 2019. It is nonetheless a remarkable result considering that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates foreign direct investment has gone down 35% around the world in that same period.

Nearly half (49.2 %) of these investments come from Europe, 43.9% from the Americas, and 6.9% from Asia. Foreign investment was linked to a variety of sectors again this year, including computer services, software, artificial intelligence, transportation logistics, life sciences and health technologies sectors, as well as the finance sector.