Wrocław, the capital of Lower Silesia province in south-west Poland, has triumphed in fDi's 2020 Return on Investment ranking, topping the tables for both Return on Budget and Return on Personnel investment. Between January and November 2019, the city welcomed $2.56bn in inward capital investment. Even with data not yet live for December, this is still the largest annual amount since fDi Markets’ records began in 2003.

Recent wins for the city include plans by South Korean manufacturer LG Chem (a subsidiary of LG) to expand its lithium-ion car battery factory. The company will invest €903m in a third phase of expansion, bringing total investment in the site to €2.8bn. In September 2019, China-based Bafang, a manufacturer of e-mobility components and systems, opened a new $16m manufacturing facility in Wrocław, which will initially employ 50 staff.

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 Agglomeration Development Agency’s business support centre is dedicated to supporting the development of foreign and local businesses. The centre has five full-time equivalent staff members, two of whom are dedicated to start-ups and SME community support. 

São Paulo's budget strengths

Brazil’s most populous city, São Paulo, ranks second for Return on Budget investment in this year’s study. The city’s investment and export promotion agency, São Paulo Negócios, was created in 2013 and revamped in 2017. The funds assigned to investment promotion account for about 56% of the organisation’s total annual budget. In 2018, the city welcomed 75 inward FDI projects, the highest number since 2014, from companies including BMW, Uber and Johnson & Johnson.

Meanwhile, Poland's second largest city, Kraków, places second for Return on Personnel investment. A team of six staff dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation form Kraków Municipality’s investor and innovative economy support centre. The city attracted 25 greenfield investment projects in 2018. Switzerland-based ABB, a power and automation technology group, expanded operations at its global shared services centres in Kraków in November 2018, leasing approximately 8300 square metres of office space. About 900 existing employees will relocate to the city, with plans to employ 2000 people in total at the site.

Methodology

For this ranking, the budget and staff information provided on the FDI Strategy submission was recorded, alongside FDI data for the corresponding year where applicable. This data was collected from fDi Markets, the online FDI tracking tool from fDi Intelligence. Locations that recorded fewer than three projects for the corresponding year were removed from the ranking.

Analysis was carried out on this data to determine the efficacy of these resources employed by investment promotion authorities and those responsible for attracting FDI. These results were then scored, with 10 being the highest score available.