11 April 2017: In a study of the most promising investment locations in the Americas, fDi Magazine – a Financial Times publication – has named New York, fDi’s American City of the Future 2017/18.

The bright lights of New York have again outshone every other city on either American continent for the fourth time in the bi-annual foreign direct investment (FDI) ranking. The metropolis attracted 819 FDI projects between 2012 and 2016 – the highest number of all locations in this study.

São Paulo received the second highest number of inward FDI projects (470) and was the only Latin American city to rank among the Top 10 American Cities of the Future.

The biggest movement in this year’s ranking is seen among Canadian locations. Toronto has risen from sixth to fourth place, Montreal enters the top 10 at five and Vancouver has risen from eighth place in the 2015/16 ranking to take sixth place in 2017/18.

Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast, is fDi’s Large American City of the Future for 2017/18. The city tops the rankings in Economic Potential and Business Friendliness in the Large City category.

Mississauga, part of Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area, tops the ranking of fDi’s Mid-Sized American Cities of the Future 2017/18, also topping the Business Friendliness ranking in this classification.

Sunnyvale, in California’s Silicon Valley, is placed first in the Small Cities classification, and 10th in the overall ranking. The city tops the Economic Potential ranking for Small Cities, helped by its strong record for patents granted, which amounted to more than 34,000 in the decade to 2015.

Wilmington, on the banks of the Delaware River, is the leading American City of the Future in the Micro City classification. The city has the highest number of outward FDI projects per 100,000 people of all locations studied, helping it top the ranking for Micro Cities in the Economic Potential category.

The American Cities of the Future 2017/18 rankings also invited investment promotion agencies (economic development organisations to tell us about their FDI strategies where we collected surveys for a separate category – FDI Strategy. The only qualitative category in the data-driven study, this category did not feed into the overall results.

Among the top North American destinations for inward FDI, Chicago has proved its FDI Strategy is a winning one. Named first for FDI Strategy in the Major City category (see below methodology), up from third last time, World Business Chicago (WBC) has seen some major developments in recent years. The city enjoys a sister relationship with 28 cities across the world, alongside agreements with London, Mexico, Paris and Toronto, which strengthen bilateral ties and bolster trade and investment.

"Political events over the past year have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the global trade and investment landscape. As investors seek to gain clarity on any potential legislative, tax or treaty changes that could affect their supply chains and global expansion strategies, credible independent assessments of the investment environment in their cities of interest can help provide guidance. fDi's American Cities of the Future use a data-driven approach to highlight cities of all sizes across the Americas that have strong fundamentals in place to attract inward investment. We applaud all those cities that appear in our shortlists." said Courtney Fingar, editor-in-chief of fDi Magazine.

Other highlights include:

  • Most FDI attracted to New York was derived from companies from western Europe (68.6%), followed by Asia-Pacific (14.8%) and North America (6.7%).
  • The lion’s share of investment in Toronto is in sales, marketing and support and business service activities (together accounting for 72% of Toronto’s inward FDI).
  • French companies were the biggest source of Montreal’s inward FDI between 2012 and 2016, accounting for 60 projects. By comparison, companies from the US invested in 50 projects.
  • Vancouver welcomed 99 FDI projects between 2012 and 2016, nearly one-third of which was in the software and IT services sector.
  • Sunnyvale is a tech hub, with more than one-third of investment into the software and IT services sector, and over one-fifth into the communications sector.
  • Cartagena, a port city on Colombia’s north coast - Large City winner for FDI strategy - has a heavy industrial focus. Invest in Cartagena, the city’s investment promotion body, says their port infrastructure has connections to 614 ports, 140 countries and 25 shipping lines.
  • Hamilton, located 70 kilometres south-west of Toronto, is the winner for FDI Strategy in the Mid-sized City category.
  • Kingston Economic Development Corporation - Small City winner for FDI strategy -  is responsible for attracting foreign investors to Kingston, Ontario. The organisation boasts a multilingual website, which is considered to have been instrumental in attracting more than $179.6m of investment from Chinese and Portuguese investors.
  • The capital of New Brunswick, Fredericton has been named fDi Magazine’s winner for FDI Strategy in the Micro City category.


For further information please contact Jay Seenundun, on jay.seenundun@ft.com or call +44(0)20 7775 6896. The full results are available on: http://www.fdiintelligence.com/Locations/Americas/fDi-American-Cities-of-the-Future-2017-18-New-York-triumphs-againYou may have to go through a short registration process to access the page.


Notes to editors


Methodology of the rankings

To create a shortlist for fDi’s American Cities of the Future 2017/18, the fDi Intelligence division, a service from the Financial Times collected data using the specialist online tools fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark.

 In total, 421 locations were analysed for the study. Data was then collected for these 428 locations under five categories: Economic Potential, Business Friendliness, Human Capital and Lifestyle, Cost Effectiveness and Connectivity. Locations scored up to a maximum of 10 points for each datapoint, which were weighted by importance to the FDI decision-making process in order to compile both the subcategory rankings as well as the overall American Cities of the Future 2017/18 ranking.

In addition, surveys were collected under a sixth category, FDI Strategy. This category is the only qualitative category, and does not feed into the overall result. For this category there were 74 submissions. Locations submitted details about their strategy for promoting FDI, which was then scored by fDi’s judging panel.


Population categories methodology

Cities in the study were categorised according to population. Those locations with immediate city populations below 100,000 were categorised as ‘Micro’ locations, of which there were 39. ‘Small’ locations (209 locations) had immediate city populations of between 100,000 and 350,000. ‘Mid-sized’ locations (of which there were 75 locations) had an immediate city population more than 200,000 and a wider Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) of more than 750,000 people, or an immediate city population of more than 350,000 people. There were 56 ‘Large’ locations, with immediate city populations of more than 500,000 and an LUZ population of more than 1 million, or an LUZ of more than 2 million. ‘Major’ locations (49) had an immediate city population of more than 750,000 and an LUZ of more than 2 million, or an LUZ of more than 4 million people.

The list of datapoints used in the American Cities of the Future 2015/16 rankings is available on http://www.fdiintelligence.com/Locations/Americas/fDi-American-Cities-of-the-Future-2017-18-New-York-triumphs-again.



Please state the source as fDi Magazine, from the Financial Times. The source is not the Financial Times newspaper.


About fDi Magazine

 fDi Magazine (fDiIntelligence.com) is a specialist publication which reports on crossborder investment and is read by senior-level executives at multinational corporations and others involved in corporate greenfield site-selection decisions.

A bi-monthly publication, fDi Magazine is part of the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times.


About fDi Intelligence

fDi Intelligence is the largest global FDI centre of excellence. Specialising in all areas relating to foreign direct investment and investment promotion, the full suite of services includes: location advertising to generate brand awareness; industry-leading intelligence tools to develop FDI strategies and identify potential investors; and tailored FDI events and investor roundtables to meet target companies and generate business leads.

Products within the portfolio include fDi Markets, a database tracking crossborder greenfield investment on a real-time basis; fDi Benchmark, a database which benchmarks global locations on their attractiveness to foreign investors; and fDi Magazine.

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