CALGARY -- Calgary is enjoying some success as a result of a new economic strategy aimed at helping the city recover from a number of hardships over the past several years.

Calgary Economic Development, the group that developed the plan, says its goal was to promote the city as a choice location for some of the leading global corporations to set up offices.

The COVID-19 pandemic, low oil prices, a reduction in foreign direct investment as well as a sharp increase in unemployment were just some of the challenges facing Calgary, the group says.

"Even with all the forces against us, we attracted and retained 54 companies and secured 5,500 jobs last year," said Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, in a statement.

Local businesses also attracted a record $353 million in venture capital in 2020, the report says.

However, in order to foster further growth in Calgary's technology industry, it must attract and retain top talent, something that Calgary Economic Development is achieving through its Live Tech, Love Life ad campaign.

"The digital economy is our future, but it requires people, so developing a talent pipeline continues to be a top priority for Calgary Economic Development," Moran said.

Calgary's GDP is also expected to experience one of the highest growth rates in Canada – at more than five per cent – through 2021.