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Montreal mayor seeks Korean involvement in design forums

Gerald Tremblay
Gerald Tremblay
Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay has expressed hope for Korean companies and communities’ participation in two design conferences to be hosted by the Canadian city in May.

Tremblay recently visited Seoul to invite Korea’s design and related business communities to the UNESCO City of Design forum and the C2 conference of designers and business leaders from around the world.

“The C2 conference is an approach to changing the business model of companies so that they realize that creativity can become an important competitive advantage,” he told The Korea Herald.

Tremblay said the conference will be a unique opportunity to break boundaries between industry and design, and inspire innovation.

“This new business model is very important,” he said. “All the major players will come and talk about the importance of creativity in business and we hope it will initiate a new business model.”

He said the city of Montreal had transformed itself into a creative and innovative city.

Since the 1990s, Canada’s second-biggest city has moved away from a predominately manufacturing base to diversify into areas such as the aerospace industry, information technology, life sciences, film, aquatech, financial services, advanced logistics and biofoods.

“What we have in Montreal and Quebec City is that we are a city of creators which helped us weather the economic crisis,” the mayor said.

Tremblay and Korea share a long history of cooperation dating back to the 1980s.

As minister of industry, commerce, science and technology for the Quebec provincial government, Tremblay oversaw the opening of Hyundai Motors’ first assembly plant abroad to Bromont, near Montreal in 1989.

“Because of that initial deal, 50 percent of the new labor agreements in Montreal are long-term agreements,” he said.

By Yoav Cerralbo (