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Montreal, 15 May 2012.

Spring is boarding highway 93 all the way to Boston.  Green shoots in shrubs and trees are blossoming under longer and warmer days.

And so it is in Boston:  Green shoots of recovery.

Retail is still slowly moving on Newbury St and Charles St, both upmarket neighbourhoods. A few closing shops are peppering alleys.  But compared to July 2010 (, restaurants and hotels are witnessing heavy traffic.  Lodging fares make you wonder if there is any trace of an economic downturn in the region.

Endowments at Harvard are picking up again and hiring for administrative positions is tentatively back on the agenda.  Executive courses are again fully subscribed, driven by marketing actions casting the net wider and farther afield.

Boston is well known for its medical and biotech cluster, along with a strong financial service sector.  What is less well known is what is paving road 128:  World class IT companies servicing international manufacturing clients.  Most manufacturing operations are today run with information systems, one way or the other.  That is what we find on Road 128 and investments and jobs are growing up there. This is a smart response to the new global reality in manufacturing.

All in all Boston is an ace in the pocket of the USA: A diversified economy in manufacturing and services, endowed with high quality R&D capabilities.  And on top of that, the city has rebuilt some critical infrastructures.  The Big Dig proved to be rather expensive to build 15 years ago, but then it allowed much new work to be done on the waterfront.  The Boston waterfront now scores an incredible 47 km! 

Book well in advance.

André Du Sault, MPA Harvard.

Posted in Country visits, Strategy & globalisation, World economy.

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