Shaping a new era of prosperity

The 22nd annual Conference of Montreal

By Byron Toben

Back in 1994, Gil Remillard, a former minister of several portfolios in the Robert Bourassa government, founded the International Economic Forum of the Americas, which has held an annual Conference of Montreal each June. It recently held its 22nd such here from June 13 to 16.

gil remillard

Gil Rémillard – Image: Creative Commons

The theme this year was Shaping a New Era of Prosperity.

Mr. Remillard stressed the advent of the fourth industrial revolution that technology has ushered in, with massive shifts in communications and energy.

Over 200 speakers from every continent addressed thousands of participants on themes both broad and in detail.

Day One zeroed in on Economy, Government and Pensions. Low rates of return affect changing pension plans as well as long term investment for sustainable growth, perhaps leading to a new geopolitical order as terrorism, climate change and immigration interact with financial planning.

Day Two switched to Energy, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development. A forum of particular relevance to hydro rich Quebec was Transport Electrification: The Energy Storage Revolution. The recent Paris Climate Change Agreement was often referred to as sub-topics included Eco-tourism, carbon reduction and the Arctic.

Over 200 speakers from every continent addressed thousands of participants on themes both broad and in detail.

Day Three concluded with International Trade, Innovation and Health, which cut across such topics as the promises and pitfalls of digital economies, emerging countries, the future of cities and the “blue economy-coastal regions” as well as the green economy.

The International Economic Forum of the Americas also hosts:
The Toronto Global Forum (October)
The Miami World Strategic Forum (April)

In addition, it issued, at its 20th anniversary in 2014, a useful 139-page paperback book called Global Economy – The Foundation for the Next Era of Growth, a compendium of articles by 15 authors, some of whom appeared at this year’s event. It was a handout to this year’s attendees, including us aching fingered (formerly ink-stained) wretches of the press. For others, it is published by Decision Media with a list price of $24.95.

Feature image: Andrew Wheeler

Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club

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