Montréal, May 6, 2013 – Today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held the first edition of the Strategic Forum on industrial clusters, with Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, and Michael Applebaum, Mayor of Montréal and Chair of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), in attendance. Close to 600 decision makers gathered to take stock, to look back on a decade’s worth of progress in the city’s industrial cluster strategy and to discuss growth-generating projects.
“We are here today thanks to the private sector’s ongoing mobilization and the support of the three levels of government,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “For the past 10 years, industrial clusters have been central to our economic development strategy. They are primary hubs for employment for the metropolitan area, they forge its economic identity and they increase its resilience.”
“This forum not only confirms the will of the government and the CMM to continue their support to clusters, but it also spotlights the most promising initiatives and the problems and challenges we need to tackle: the quality and supply of labour, commercializing products and services internationally and reinforcing our brand image around the world,” Michel Leblanc said.
“Our clusters have the unique ability to mobilize players, ensure greater consistency within sectors and react quickly to the changing economic environment,” Michel Leblanc said. “They are indispensable; they increasingly inspire other economic sectors and are a much-envied model around the world.”
Since the clusters were created, their challenge has been to increase collaboration, promote creative capital and accelerate the innovation process,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Many aspects of this challenge have been tackled in the past ten years. The clusters are catalysts for growth and innovation. They are one of our city’s strengths when it comes to attracting talent and foreign investment.”
“Today’s forum marks the start of the next decade,” Michel Leblanc said. “By pushing inter-cluster efforts further and deploying the necessary resources, the industrial clusters will carry out even more innovative and structuring projects, and they will develop world-class leaders.”
The Montréal metropolitan area now has eight industrial clusters in aerospace, life sciences and health technologies, information and communications technologies, film and television, clean technology, logistics and transport, financial services and aluminium.
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.
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Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
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