fDi Strategy Awards 2017 – Invest Hong Kong leads the way

Invest Hong Kong leads the way Invest Hong Kong has been named the best investment

with organisations from Chicago and Colorado Springs to Karachi and Krosno also winning accolades for their economic development efforts. Cathy Mullan reports.

IPA of the Year

Winner– Invest Hong Kong

Invest Hong Kong – also known as InvestHK – has been named Investment Promotion Agency of the Year for 2017, following a strong performance of attracting FDI in 2016. According to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, estimated job creation from inward foreign investment in the special administrative region stood at more than 10,000 jobs in 2016, the highest level of job creation since 2013.

fDi Strategy Awards 2017

The number of inbound greenfield FDI projects increased from 149 in 2015 to 166 in 2016, and it hit its highest inbound capital expenditure level since 2013, with nearly $5.3bn. Investments were made by some major companies including US-based entertainment and leisure company Walt Disney and management consultancy Accenture.

InvestHK approaches investment promotion with a highly targeted focus, emphasising key sectors such as financial services and innovation and technology, but with a vast global reach. Its 70 investment promotion staff at the Hong Kong head office, deployed in nine sector specialist (or other dedicated service) teams, are supported by a network of 30 offices around the world, including about 50 investment promotion staff in investment promotion units (IPUs) in economic trade and consular offices worldwide, and 45 consultants in 15 overseas representative offices in strategic locations not covered by the existing IPUs.

In the next five years, InvestHK will also strengthen its promotional activities overseas and in mainland China, focusing on the development of Hong Kong into a regional maritime services hub, and a platform connecting the mainland with the maritime industry in other parts of the world.

Highly commended World Business Chicago (US)

World Business Chicago (WBC), a not-for-profit public-private partnership, has expanded aggressively since 2012, doubling staff numbers at the agency and tripling funding in the same

period. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel works closely with the agency, receiving regular updates on project wins and on efforts to secure more foreign investment. He was involved in expanding the board of members – which includes C-level members of more than 80 companies – and is instrumental in implementing the organisation’s FDI strategic plan, which sets out objectives by country and target sector.

Throughout the city there is a strong co-operation among agencies, including WBC and the Departments of Planning & Development and Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, among others. The city is strong on international outreach and crossborder collaboration, proactively leveraging its global sister city relationships for investment and trade promotion.

Individual categories

Aftercare

Commended for aftercare services

Hamilton Economic Development (Canada)

The Hamilton Economic Development agency implemented a thorough aftercare programme, Hamilton Calling, dedicated to ensuring that companies investing in the city are well settled and supported. About 100 companies are visited annually, and assistance is provided in a range of areas, including training programmes, exporting, marketing and expansion or relocation within the community. A customer relationship management system is used to track and monitor visits and company information, and allows the agency to stay in contact and up to date with investors. A formal report on the year’s activities is published annually.

Education, skills and training

Commended for education and business collaboration

The Beacon Council (US)

The Beacon Council in Miami works to bridge the gap between the needs of investors and the institutions training the local workforce. Degrees and education programmes have been added to the curriculum of local education institutions to focus on specific sectors, as required. Degree courses have been established in such areas as international supply chain management, animation and gaming and cyber security. Meetings are set up between colleges and local business leaders from target industries, to ensure skill gaps are being filled adequately.

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