FDI Strategy T

he global pandemic has pre- sented many challenges to IPAs across the world, which gener-

ally rely on face-to-face meetings and site visits to showcase the attractive- ness of their locations. Consequently, organisations have had to rethink their strategies and actions in order to maintain their engagement with investment prospects. According to a recent issue of Unctad’s IPA Observer: “The pandemic has surfaced the criti- cal role of IPAs. They have shown agil- ity and reactiveness in supporting the evolving needs of investors. Some of the changes that IPAs underwent may last in the ‘new normal’.” The submissions for this year’s

FDI Strategy category demonstrate the efforts made by IPAs to maintain visibility in the context of the corona- virus crisis, as well as other key pro- grammes in economic development and investment promotion that con- tribute to the economic and social recovery of the cities they represent. The most commonly cited action

taken in response to Covid-19 was the move to online engagement, whether attending events, organising meetings and virtual site tours, or providing greater informationinadigital format on existing and new platforms. The pandemic has shaken up the working methods of those who previously relied on face-to-face interactions that havehadtomove fullyonline–but it is possible these improvements made to online interactionandexposure could increase the visibility of many loca- tions into the future. More than a quarter of respond-

ents said they would increase their budget in 2021, revealing their enthu- siasm to compensate for any missed opportunities. Below, we look at the judges’ top five Americas Cities for FDI Strategy, and some of the initia- tives they have implemented in what was an extremely challenging year.

NewYork New York is once again the judges’ favourite in this year’s FDI Strategy category. The city’s investment pro- motion body, the New York City Eco- nomic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), employed more than 350 staff in 2020 focused specifically on economic development activities.



Winning destination: San José in Costa Rica welcomed international firms in 2020

NYCEDC offers an array of pro- grammes and initiatives to support and stimulate investment in the city, such as the Business Intelligence and Development programme, which serves to meet the needs of investors and businesses, such as recruitment, incentives research and site selection. NYCEDC, along with the Depart-

ment of Small Business Services, recently launched the Small Business Resource Network to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with personalised guidance and resources. The organisation has also imple- mented schemes focused on promot- ing sustainable investment, includ- ing The Urban Tech Hub @ Company and RISE:NYC. In terms of digital marketing ini-

tiatives, its award-winning website provides information about projects, industries, services, opportunities and resources. In 2020, NYCEDC revamped Digital.NYC, an onlinehub for the city’s growing tech ecosystem. The city is also expanding its support for businesses that make their prod- ucts inNYCand is investing $136min a Made in NY Campus at Bush Termi- nal, anticipated to open in 2021.

Mississauga,Ontario Mississauga has jumped from 10th place in the last edition of the FDI Strategy ranking to second place this year, with the city’s Economic Devel- opment Office facilitating the crea- tion of about 3000 new jobs in 2020. In response to the pandemic and the need to maintain its visibility, Missis- sauga participated in the virtual trade show AeroMart Toulouse 2020

to showcase the strengths of its aero- space sector and its attractiveness as a destination for FDI. Through its participation in

Startup Bridge Canada, delivered through India’s Startup Réseau, the city gained direct access to decision- makers, allowing it to promote its value as an ideal location for technol- ogy companies to grow within the Canadian market, and to offer its ser- vices to support their location deci- sions. The launch of digital advertis- ing campaigns targeting interna- tional life sciences companies resulted in a five-fold increase in traf- fic to the city’s life sciences webpage and strengthened Mississauga’s iden- tity as a life sciences hub. During an FDI Mission in 2018, Mississauga met Beyond Japan, which in 2019 was introduced to the local technology ecosystem to understand the poten- tial for growth in the Canadian mar- ket. Services provided by the city helped Beyond Japan de-risk its investment decision and it became an ambassador for Mississauga among other Japanese companies.

SanJosé,CostaRica San José in Costa Rica takes third place. The Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (Cinde) facili- tated a record 81 new investment projects in 2020, including 26 new companies and 35 new expansions. India-based software development company Value Labs opened a new development centre in San José in 2020, creating 200 new jobs, and Ireland-based Johnson Controls, a diversified technology and indus- June/July 2021

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