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Strategic Forum on the manufacturing sector: Companies need to have the courage and vision to make the move to digital technology and automation

Montréal, February 21, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held its first Strategic Forum on the manufacturing sector, with Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, in attendance. Over 300 decision makers gathered to discuss the issues facing this sector and solutions for improving the competitiveness of manufacturers.

“The manufacturing sector is key to the city’s economic development,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade. “In Greater Montréal, it represents 12% of GDP and 220,000 jobs and accounts for a large proportion of our exports. It is an undisputed driver of innovation and wealth creation. But a number of factors have led to the decline of this sector in the past decade and have made companies vulnerable. It’s time to reverse this trend. Plenty of industrialized countries, including our neighbour to the south, have made massive investments to stimulate innovation and revive their manufacturing sector. If we do nothing, the lag in competitiveness will only get worse.”

“The diagnosis has been thoroughly documented,” Michel Leblanc said. “Today’s event sends a clear signal: solutions for local manufacturers are within reach. Whether in terms of tools to increase capacities in digital technology and automation, access to financing or strategic advice, the city has solid expertise to guide companies that decide to tackle the issue of productivity.”

“Manufacturers need to make this shift quickly and adopt more leading-edge technologies to increase their productivity,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The success stories presented during the Strategic Forum show that companies that make greater use of digital technology and automation in their processes are more competitive and successful in breaking into foreign markets. Others need to draw inspiration from the good practices and advice presented to enhance their business strategy and increase efficiency.”

For an overview of the Strategic Forum on the manufacturing sector, click here and watch our video.

About the Strategic Forum on the manufacturing sector
This first Strategic Forum on the manufacturing sector presented by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal was made possible through the support of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, in partnership with the event’s GOLD sponsor, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. It was also organized in cooperation with the SILVER sponsors: Les Affaires and The Gazette.

The Strategic Forum also benefited from the contribution of CEFRIO, which is managing the Government of Quebec’s SME 2.0 initiative, intended to support fashion and aerospace manufacturers in their efforts to adopt digital technology, and the Regroupement des équipementiers en automatisation industrielle, which brings together industrial equipment manufacturers in Quebec that offer automation solutions to increase productivity.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
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.


Source :
Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

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