Montréal, April 24, 2013 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes with interest the bill to create the Banque de développement économique du Québec (BDEQ), tabled today by the Minister of Finance and the Economy, Nicolas Marceau, and the Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, Élaine Zakaïb. The Board of Trade’s interest stems from the fact that the bill could optimize government support to economic development and increase venture and development capital for the city’s businesses. However, the Board of Trade maintains that the BDEQ should respect four essential principles.
First, the BDEQ should offer financing that complements that available from private businesses
“We agree with the idea of optimizing government support for business creation, retention and growth,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “However, the government’s role is to bridge gaps in financing; it should not be acting as an alternative to what already exists in the private sector. We have solid and efficient financial institutions. We expect the government to listen to what they have to say during the consultation period that is getting under way.”
Second, the BDEQ’s activities and investments should concentrate on the metropolitan area
The Montréal metropolitan area accounts for half of the province’s GDP, population and employment. “The Government of Quebec and its institutions must recognize metropolitan Montréal’s reality and economic weight,” Michel Leblanc said. “We welcome the decision for the BDEQ to be governed on a metropolitan basis rather than through five administrative regions. But the real test is whether the government will commit to having a significant portion of the BDEQ’s activities and investments support businesses in the Montréal metropolitan area.”
Third, the structure of the BDEQ must provide easy access for businesses
“One of the essential conditions for supporting businesses is limiting duplications and complications that, too often, impede access to programs, create prohibitive administrative costs and discourage entrepreneurs,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We will have to ensure that the proposed structure for the BDEQ, based on local access points, particularly local development centres (CLDs), has the desired effect for businesses.”
Fourth, the BDEQ must be able to hire the experts and talent to support its mission
To ensure effective support and guidance for businesses, the BDEQ must have human resources with the skills required to assume the development bank’s new duties. “The creation of the BDEQ should not involve a simple transfer of government employees,” Michel Leblanc said. “The government must let the BDEQ recruit the talent it needs to carry out its mission.”
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.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015
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