IPA of the Year

Winner – Investe São Paulo, Brazil



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The investment promotion body for São Paulo state employs more than 60 people who are tasked with promoting it as an investment destination, and in 2015 the agency also took responsibility for science park management and export promotion. The organisation is divided into teams, each responsible for a different aspect of the investment process, such as the environmental team (which advises investors on environmental laws, zoning and utilities) and a tax team (which advises on tax structures in each municipality and provides guidance for tax reduction processes). Investe São Paulo is a regular attendee at various events and fairs at home and abroad, identifying and targeting potential investors for the state. A detailed website, which was developed in line with the World Bank’s Global Investment Best Practices, provides such companies with investment guides, interactive mapping tools and economic and statistical data on all municipalities in the state to inform their investment decision. The agency works to bridge the gap between the investor and public bodies at all levels from federal to municipality, providing intelligence and information, and encouraging dialogue between investors, taxpayers and the state regarding the introduction of new incentives. 

Among 171 states, we have the highest GDP and were elected as the most attractive to investors. And this since 2013. This result is directly linked to the actions of Investe São Paulo to attract investors to the state, as we are always willing to support them in their decision-making. Companies are looking for São Paulo as a gateway to expand throughout Brazil. And also, from the largest market, which is the State of São Paulo, export to all of Latin America

Sérgio Costa, investment director of Investe São Paulo

Highly commended – Catalonia Trade & Investment, Spain

Coming from a period of political uncertainty following the region’s bid for independence from Spain in 2017, Catalonia Trade & Investment (CT&I) has gone some lengths to polish its offering. The agency provides an annual week-long training course for its team to give them a deep and current sectoral and geographical knowledge to inform potential investors. With a global outlook, CT&I has a dedicated China desk, providing a specialised service for Chinese investors, and takes part in key events in China to grab investors’ attention. Its USA Plan targets future technologies and attracting top American unicorn companies. The agency is also focused on the world’s top 500 companies, aiming to attract them to the region. Opportunities in emerging sectors such as ICT mobile technologies, video gaming and software development are supported with initiatives such as Mobile World Capital in Barcelona, and events like the Smart City Expo, positioning the region as a hub for digital sectors. Catalonia’s move towards digital sectors combined with its historical successes as an industrial hub are creating a wave of new opportunities in Industry 4.0 and its technologies. 

Editor’s choice – ones to watch

City of Šabac, Serbia

A city of fewer than 100,000 people located in northern Serbia, Šabac has set the bar high for government-investor interaction and impressed judges with its ability to adapt to the changing investor landscape. The mayor and head of local economic development commit to visiting every company investing or expanding in the city, and an Investments Monitoring Commission was established in Šabac in 2015. The commission holds weekly meetings, which are open to participation. When a downstream petrochemical complex was shut down in the city, thousands lost their jobs. The gap was filled with foreign investors in the chemical industry, including Germany-based pharmaceutical company Strada and Finnish paint company Tikkurila. The abundance of skilled workers attracted Serbia’s largest ever greenfield Japanese investment – 1700 jobs at electronic automotive components company Yazaki’s manufacturing facility, which was announced in 2016 and expanded again in 2018.

Excellent position in FDI ranking is another proof that Sabac is the best place for investment in Serbia. Convinced that investments follow people, not the other way around, development of local community is based on involvement of citizens into power, investment in culture and education.

Mr. Nebojsa Zelenovic, mayor of the City of Sabac:

EDC Debrecen, Hungary

Established by the municipality and University of Debrecen in eastern Hungary, EDC Debrecen acts to attract investors and promote the city to companies across the world. The agency works proactively to create a favourable environment for investors, including initiating and coordinating infrastructure developments (such as a 22,000-square-metre grade A office development) in the city. The body also works with local government, and has some success in implementing local investment incentive programmes for investors, which includes direct cash incentives in addition to national grants. EDC Debrecen initiated the establishment of the International School of Debrecen, an English education facility useful for the families of investing foreign companies, and coordinates collaboration between local companies and education institutions regarding talent supply, education and research projects. The result has been large-scale investments coming to the city, in particular in the automotive sector. 

Limerick City Council, Ireland

Sixty staff are engaged in economic development and attracting inward investment to Limerick, a city in Ireland’s Mid-West region. The agency is engaged with the Limerick 2030 plan, a €1bn economic and spatial plan for attracting investment and developing the city, which is targeting 12,000 new jobs. As part of the plan, Limerick 2030 Strategic Development body was created, the first of its kind to be created by a local authority in the country. The initiative aims to deliver a city- and county-wide programme for investment. The council established Innovate Limerick, an initiative to drive innovation in the city, which attracted Troy International Film Studio – a 3250-square-metre innovation hub, shared workspace and production and digital skills hub, and a completely new industry for the city. 

Best IPA web strategy

Winner – Marketing Derby, UK

Marketing Derby employs the latest technology to attract investors to the city and provide intelligent information on its investment sites and offerings, from a virtual reality map giving the user a complete view of the city’s key development sites and a tour of Derby to a GIS-enabled web platform providing data, analytics and property information for potential investors. Outreach efforts receive support from active social media accounts – more than 11,600 followers on Twitter, live streaming on Periscope and videos with the latest news on YouTube. Traffic to the agency’s website, which operates as a news feed for prospective investors, increased by 55% between 2017 and 2018. Two newsletters (one biweekly and one monthly) give subscribers an in-depth view into the latest local business developments. 

We work very hard to ensure that our digital platforms are innovative, engaging and informative for our investors including campaigns in markets such as China. To be recognised by fDi Intelligence as being amongst the worlds best is a stunning endorsement for the whole team which we really welcome

Marketing Derby, Managing Director, John Forkin.

Highly commended - New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

New York City Economic Development Corporation enjoys an online audience in excess of 250,000 people from its social media channels and online and email marketing campaigns. The agency’s website is a trove of information, including interactive maps, economic data reports, podcasts, photo galleries and a blog. Users are kept up to date with key economic development topics in the city. 

Highly commended – Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Invest Hong Kong has an integrated approach to its online marketing and communications activities, which includes advertising, social media, public relations activities and publications across two main websites (one for its StartmeupHK initiative). A brand revamp saw the release of a new website and corporate video, and a more contemporary look across all its collaterals. A mobile app will be launched by the end of 2018. The agency is engaged across all social media platforms to boost its digital marketing efforts, including YouTube, WeChat and Facebook. 

Social media strategy – World Business Chicago, US

With accounts across all the main social media platforms, World Business Chicago uses its social media presence to drive traffic to its main website. Between its 5100 followers on Facebook, its 13,300 followers on Twitter and 6300 followers on LinkedIn, the agency’s monthly social media activity reaches more than 1.7 million impressions. 

Social media strategy – City of Mississauga, Economic Development, Canada

Mississauga’s Economic Development team includes video testimonials and blogging entries on its microsite, showing the appeal of the city for the aerospace sector. The city’s Twitter profile is active in informing users of developments in the city and, particularly, around the airport and in its aerospace sector. 

Social media strategy - Invest in Bogotá, Colombia

Invest in Bogotá recognises the value of ‘digital influencers’ in promoting the city’s message, ensuring it reaches a large audience. This understanding of the nuances and opportunities in today’s social media environment, and its strategy to exploit these opportunities, impressed the judging panel.

Use of new technologies – City of Mechelen, Belgium

In June 2017, the city of Mechelen launched a virtual reality tour of the city, a first for Belgium. Viewers of the tour can get an eagle-eye view of the city and can zoom in on various locations, getting the feeling of actually visiting. The city aims to use this to attract more companies and trade, and make the decision-making process easier for investors. 

Best Marketing Slogan

Winner - New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

“New York City. Make it here”


Advanced manufacturing – Sheffield City Region, UK

Sheffield, located in the English county of South Yorkshire, has a proven track record in advanced manufacturing operations, with specific expertise in component manufacturing in high-performance alloys such as stainless steel and tungsten. The city’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, set up in conjunction with a faculty of the University of Sheffield, undertakes market research for its members (including Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce) on composites and light weighting. 

Aerospace – Municipality of São José dos Campos, Brazil

Located just east of São Paulo, São José dos Campos is home to the Brazilian Aerospace Cluster, a co-operation of more than 100 large companies and SMEs from the aeronautical and space sectors. The cluster boasts five major original equipment manufacturers, 10 research companies, 200 manufacturing companies, 30 engineering companies, two technology parks, seven aerospace institutes and more than 300 aerospace supplier companies. 

Being granted the worldwide Strategic City to invest in Aerospace Market is the highest accolade our city could receive and it reiterates the great efforts, investments and professionalism of our cluster. Boeing and its partners are landing in the city and seizing the opportunity

Felicio Ramuth, Mayor of Prefeitura de São José dos Campos

Cybersecurity – New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

The world’s largest banks, media companies and healthcare businesses call New York City home, and as such it has become something of a leader in cybersecurity, with companies spending big sums to make sure they get it right for their customers. The city received more than $1bn in funding for cybersecurity alone in 2017, and is investing $30m in its Cyber Center, boasting a dedicated cybersecurity accelerator and learning initiative to expand the talent base.

Data centres – Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong

A data technology hub measuring 27,000 square metres is under construction to be completed in 2020 in Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, and will provide facilities for local and overseas ICT companies. A cluster of 11 high-tier data centres already exists in the zone, the largest cluster of its kind in east Asia.

E-mobility – Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Germany

Berlin forms part of the German government’s Electro Mobility Showcase initiative, as part of the city’s aim to become Europe’s leading electro mobility metropolis. A proximity to the region’s leading automobile manufacturers makes Berlin an important market for the automotive and logistics sectors.

Fintech – Go Vilnius, Lithuania

More than 40 local and foreign fintech companies are based in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Both local and national governments are working to make the city the main fintech centre for the country. E-payment and e-money licences can be granted in less than a month, while 30,000 young IT specialists offer investors a well-qualified talent pool.

Gaming – Go Vilnius, Lithuania

A close community of international developers is based in Vilnius, where more than 40 gaming developers have offices. The city boasts super-fast broadband and wi-fi infrastructure, low set-up costs for developers, and local universities offer courses in the discipline. 

Insurance – City of Cologne – Office of Economic Development, Germany

Cologne was awarded the title of ‘Digital Insurance Hub’ in April 2017 by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, following the decision of Zurich Insurance Group to expand its presence in the city.

Life sciences – New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

LifeSci NYC is a $500m initiative spanning 10 years to make New York the leading destination for the life sciences industry, connecting research and industry, unlocking space for companies to grow and building the talent pool. The city is aiming to establish a world-class hub for the sector, and plans to spend $300m to unlock private sector sites for life science use. 

Logistics – Ventspils, Latvia

The Freeport of Ventspils Authority has invested heavily to diversify the port’s offering and developing port-related businesses. As a result, six new port terminals have been launched since 2000, which are engaged in the shipment of coal, grain, specialised liquid cargo, dry and universal cargos. A ferry line to Sweden has also been introduced.

Bespoke awards

Academic-industry collaboration

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, New Zealand

A high level of co-operation between hi-tech business, government, universities and other research organisations exists in the city of Auckland. The four innovation advisers in Auckland’s Tourism, Events and Economic Development agency have active relationships with local universities, and connect tech companies with experts and research being undertaken at these institutions. This has the dual effect of bringing research and potential products to market, while also allowing companies to access research that might expand their offering.

Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Local universities are active in conducting research and bringing products to market in Hong Kong, with the commercialisation of any such research managed by the dedicated Technology Transfer Office within the respective university. The commercial arm of the University of Hong Kong, for example, has brought several products to market globally stemming from research in the university. 

Toronto Global, Canada

Work-integrated learning programmes are popular in Toronto, with some of the city’s most high-profile universities offering students two years of field-specific work experiences while also earning degrees. Siemens runs a post-secondary education programme, the Siemens Canada Engineering & Technology Academy, to bring a qualified workforce to market for themselves and other companies. 


Investe São Paulo, Brazil

The state investment agency for São Paulo is actively engaged in policy advocacy, keeping detailed records of difficulties companies may face that impede their competitiveness. The agency works with the state and investors to overcome these difficulties, and then aims to grant new incentives for the improvement of the tax system. 


Invest in the Basque Country, Spain

Investors in the region receive a satisfaction questionnaire as part of Invest in the Basque Country’s aftercare programme, which also includes an annual aftercare meeting (for companies to network and inform local government of their needs and wishes), other networking events and vocational training services. The agency maintains a database of existing foreign companies in the region, and monitors and keeps in touch with those likely to need assistance with expansion. 

Business Birmingham UK

Business Birmingham helps investing companies to settle into the business community and get established, and offers a relocation service as ongoing support. The agency works to integrate the new investors into existing business networks and provides links to regional universities and further education institutions. Help with property and site-selection advice is provided to companies wishing to expand. 

Invest Pacific, Colombia

After identifying established companies with the most potential for reinvestment, 15 ‘key accounts’ are chosen by Invest Pacific in Colombia’s Valle de Cauca department. The agency develops a deep relationship with these companies, and a customised programme is created to support expansion goals. 

Office of Economic Development, City of Düsseldorf, Germany

Sector or country specialists in Düsseldorf’s economic development team are responsible for the aftercare of companies investing in the city, and a joint customer relationship management system provides a coordinated approach to aftercare. The team is also working to increase co-operation between local universities and companies.

Montréal International, Canada

Montréal International provided aftercare support to more than 260 companies in 2017 as part of an aftercare programme that seeks to support business needs to ensure they grow in the area. An annual satisfaction survey is completed to assess companies’ requirements.

Invest in Paraná, Brazil

Each investor in Brazil’s southern Paraná state is contacted by the team at Invest in Paraná three times a year on average. This allows the agency to strengthen its relationship with the investor, and to collect market intelligence to identify future opportunities. 

City of Šabac, Serbia

The local business council was established by the forward-thinking local economic department, and gives investors in the area a chance to voice their needs and opinions at one of the regular meetings. The city’s development strategy is then based on the outcomes of these meetings. 

Sheffield City Region, UK

Sheffield City Region prides itself on the relationship it upholds with its investors. A key account manager ensures that companies investing in the region are supported, providing links to relevant trade bodies and assistance with knowledge transfer opportunities. The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is a lasting embodiment of such a partnership. Established jointly with Boeing in 2002, the partnership has resulted in direct employment and investment.

Scottish Enterprise, UK

More than 140 account managers in Scottish Enterprise are on hand to offer support to companies that have invested in the country, helping to realise business expansion plans. The agency also offers guidance on innovation (the Innovation Support Service), manufacturing (the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service) and talent attraction (Talent Scotland) to make companies’ investments as successful as possible. 

Ambassadors programme

Leicester and Leicestershire LEP, UK

A team of 30 local businesses have formed the region’s private sector ambassador’s team, which was created to encourage and attract the investment of more companies. In 2017, 500 additional jobs were created through the programme. The ambassador companies work closely with new investors to answer any questions they may have.

Anti-corruption efforts

City of Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Prijedor has been recognised for its awareness of the importance of increased transparency in providing a business-friendly environment for incoming investors and of its efforts towards reducing corruption.

China engagement

Catalonia Trade & Investment, Spain

Catalonia Trade & Investment’s China desk forms part of its international strategy for attracting investment. With an office in Shanghai, the agency can provide tailored and relevant support to Chinese companies interested in investing in the region and regularly attends Chinese events.

Midas, UK

In 2003, the Manchester Investment Development Agency Service (Midas) launched the Manchester-China forum to help attract significant investments into the city-region. Results include a joint venture between Beijing Construction Engineering Group and Manchester Airport Group to develop the £800m ($1.02bn) Airport City. The agency also employs people in China to develop interest in Manchester and establish relationships with Chinese companies. 

City branding

City Council of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s city council launched a 'City Branding' project to integrate key public and private stakeholders into the promotion and branding strategy for the city, which will boost Barcelona’s international reputation and identity. 

Deconstructing prejudice

Paris Region Entreprises, France

A new digital promotion campaign was launched by Paris Region Entreprises – 'You think…' – intended to challenge any negative preconceptions business leaders, decision makers and investors may have had about doing business in France. The campaign ran in the UK, the US, China and South Korea in native languages. 

Development plan

Limerick City Council, Ireland

Limerick City Council’s ambitious €1bn Limerick 2030 economic and spatial plan provides a clear economic strategy, towards which each of the 1000-plus employees in the city and county council works. The council is targeting the creation of more than 12,000 jobs and between 2013 and 2016, €1.4bn in investment projects were announced. 

Education, skills and training

Clúster Aeroespacial de Chihuahua, Mexico

EDC Debrecen, Hungary

Guanajuato State Government - Economic Development Ministry, Mexico

Limerick City Council, Ireland

New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

Invest in Pereira, Colombia

Plovdiv Municipality, Bulgaria

Poznań City Council, Poland

Waterford City & County Council, Ireland

Encouraging innovation

Stad Antwerpen, Belgium

The city of Antwerp runs a StartupVillage initiative that provides growth space and incubators for local start-ups for up to three years. Research institute Imec, along with the University of Antwerp, the Port of Antwerp and the city, has developed a city-wide Internet-of-Things (IoT) living lab. In 2018, an IoT house will be opened where start-ups and other companies can develop new solutions.

City Council of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has been announced as the first World Mobile Capital, becoming a permanent hub for the mobile industry. The city acts as an urban laboratory and is supported by public and private institutions.

Invest in Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá boasts 35% of all research groups in biotechnology in Colombia and is home to two of the top 10 universities in Latin America. Incentives are geared towards enhancing this activity even further, including a 100% deduction on R&D and innovation projects over the income tax discount of 25% of the investment on R&D or innovation over the income tax.

City of Brno, Czech Republic

The city of Brno is one of the investors in the Czech Technology Park Brno, which is located next to the Brno University of Technology, the Central European Institute of Technology research centre and the Advanced Materials, Structures and Technologies research centre. The park offers investors the advantage of a skilled workforce of graduates and opportunities for collaboration among other companies in the park. 

Invest in Glasgow, UK

Scotland’s first two innovation districts are located in the West End and Merchant City areas of Glasgow, encouraging the growth of business clusters in the life sciences and higher education sectors. Other planned ventures in the city include the Tontine Business Acceleration Space & Innovation hub, a high-growth innovation hub supporting 153 companies over five years, and the Imaging Centre of Excellence, a £32m ($40.7m) facility to bring together research, cutting-edge technology and international investment.

Guanajuato State Government - Economic Development Ministry, Mexico

Through the state government’s Innovation, Science and Superior Education Ministry, seven technological parks and eight research centres have been created in Guanajuato and are home to more than 940 researchers. This creates a culture of innovation for prospective investors. 

Limerick City Council, Ireland

‘Innovate Limerick’ was established in 2013, complete with a 3250-square-metre innovation hub in the Roxboro area. ‘The Engine’ facility will co-locate FDI companies, providing shared workspace and a production and skills hub to develop the fledgling film production industry in the city. 

NewcastleGateshead Initiative, UK

A new Urban Science building has been opened in the north-eastern English city of Newcastle, which is also home to Newcastle Science Central, one of the largest city-centre innovation parks in Europe. The park measures 9.7 hectares and is forecast to have 46,500 square metres of commercial space. 

Expat support

Go Vilnius, Lithuania

Go Vilnius is working to establish a dedicated helpdesk for foreigners, in collaboration with local healthcare institutions. The project aims to provide information on healthcare to newcomers in their native language and would be the first project of its kind in central and eastern Europe.


Catalonia Trade & Investment, Spain – Amazon

Office of Economic Development, City of Düsseldorf, Germany – Trivago

Future industries

Toronto Global, Canada

Toronto’s capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) were boosted by the launch of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Toronto, which attracted more than $120m in funding from public and corporate bodies. Samsung and LG are among the companies to have recently opened AI research centres in the city. 

Growth capital

Marketing Derby, UK

Capital is available to companies wishing to invest and grow in Derby through several channels. Through the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, businesses that demonstrate job creation and growth can apply for part of a £32m ($40.7m) grant and loan scheme. Invest to Grow is a £16m fund which helps companies to grow, and is facilitated by the University of Derby. The institution not only provides financial backing but supports companies with technological and academic knowledge.  

Midas, UK

A range of funds and initiatives are available to companies investing in Manchester, including the Co-Angel GM Investment Fund, which is a joint initiative between the Growth Company and the British Business Bank, providing access to finance for companies struggling to find any. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides commercially focused finance of up to £2m ($2.54m) in collaboration with the British Business Bank and 10 local enterprise partnerships in the region. 


City Council of Barcelona, Spain

Invest in the Basque Country, Spain

ProExca - Sociedad Canaria de Fomento Económico, Spain

World Business Chicago, US

EDC Debrecen, Hungary

Limerick City Council, Ireland

Međimurje County Regional Government, Croatia

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, US

City of Mississauga, Economic Development, Canada

Montréal International, Canada

City of Niš, Serbia

Maribor Development Agency, Slovenia

Câmara Municipal do Porto, Portugal

City of Šabac, Serbia

Szczecin Municipal Government, Poland

Valmiera Development Agency, Latvia

Vojvodina Development Agency, Serbia

Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, Belgium

India Engagement

Midas, UK

The Manchester India Partnership is a public-private initiative that launched early in 2018 and aims to increase global investment, tourism and academic opportunities between the two locations. Tech Mahindra, one of India’s largest IT service providers, established its headquarters in Manchester, and have signed a memorandum of understanding with one of the region’s universities. Flight routes between the two destinations have been launched, which will increase ties. 


Invest In Ventspils, Latvia

Ventspils has been pursuing an industrialisation policy, which saw manufacturing output increase by more than 1700% between 2002 and 2016. The annual manufacturing export volume has increased more than 3550% in the same time. 

It is a great honour for Catalonia Trade & Investment to receive this recognition from a leading publication on Foreign Direct Investment. It acknowledges the strategy behind the success of Catalonia as a major European destination for industrial investments, innovation, tech and digital hubs, as well as centres of excellence

Mr. Joan Romero, CEO Catalonia Trade & Investment

Industry 4.0

Catalonia Trade & Investment, Spain

Catalonia has been a hotbed for the Industry 4.0 sector and its technologies, thanks to the strong industrial history in the region meeting the emerging ICT sector to create investment opportunities. Technology and software company HP has established a global 3D printing business in the region, while Volkswagen has opened a new data analysis centre in Barcelona. 

NRW.Invest, Germany

North Rhine Westphalia is a state with an industrial heritage and tradition, and perfect for a transition to the new wave of industrialisation. A unique technology platform is being created with the aim of securing production and increasing job creation in the region. 

Infrastructure as an FDI catalyst

Business Birmingham, UK

The HS2 project, a high-speed rail line due to connect Birmingham with London, is expected to be a major driver for investment. Regeneration and connectivity projects have already started in light of the project, including the £1bn ($1.27bn) Curzon city centre investment plan. 

International outreach

Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Germany

Alongside its worldwide marketing campaigns to attract investment to Berlin from around the world, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology takes its pop-up store ‘Pop into Berlin’ to various international cities for one week to present Berlin’s offering to investors. 

World Business Chicago, US

World Business Chicago has a host of international initiatives, each of which aim to strengthen ties and increase investment between the city and other global locations, including China, Japan and the UK. The city’s mayor often leads and hosts delegations, while also putting in concrete measures such as the Chicago Gateway City memorandum of understanding, which makes Chicago the gateway US city for investment from China. This then evolved into an accelerator memorandum of understanding, which serves as an agreement between Chicago and eight Chinese cities to foster a trade and business-friendly relationship.

NRW.Invest, Germany 

NRW.Invest operates a network of overseas offices, with subsidiaries in Japan, the US, China, Russia, South Korea, India, Israel and Turkey. The offices work to promote the region as an investment destination by identifying investors and expanding local political and commercial networks. A special focus on start-up companies was boosted with the opening of offices in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. 

City of Šabac, Serbia

To promote the area and attract investors from across the globe, the city of Šabac prepares quarterly newsletters that are sent to business chambers, embassies, ministries and consulting companies across the EU. The city also has close links with international business support organisations, including the Japan External Trade Organisation and AHK Serbien in Germany.

Invest in Pereira, Colombia

The agency has been pushing an initiative to increase bilingualism in the region, offering training for new companies entering and those already installed. Efforts are under way to boost public schools to train their students in foreign languages.

Project wins

City Council of Barcelona, Spain – Volkswagen

Invest in the Basque Country, Spain – Viralgen Project

Business Birmingham, UK – Guhring

Leeds City Region, UK – Burberry

Leicester and Leicestershire LEP, UK – energy-related investment

Limerick City Council, Ireland – Troy Studios

Regione Lombardia and Unioncamere Lombardia, Italy – a Turkish biotech company

City of Mechelen, Belgium – Nipro Corporation

Montréal International, Canada – Behavox

Câmara Municipal do Porto, Portugal – Vestas

City of Šabac, Serbia – Yazaki

Red tape reduction

City of Kazan, Russia

A standard of local government employed across all municipalities in Tatarstan ensures an improved investment climate, with an online investment passport programme in place to simplify the process of completing projects and reducing costs. 

Kyiv Investment Agency, Ukraine

Kyiv Investment Agency provides investors with a one-stop-shop service for assisting investors. The agency facilitates co-operation between the investor and local authorities, and it also builds links between public and private sectors and financial institutions. 

R&D support

City Council of Barcelona, Spain

Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Germany

Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, Hungary

Brainport Development, Netherlands

Invest in Glasgow, UK

Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore

Toronto Global, Canada


Copenhagen Capacity, Denmark

Copenhagen Capacity worked actively to retain a production unit of a medical technology company when it was considering moving the operation to a lower cost base. The agency gathered market intelligence and benchmarking economic data for competing locations, as well as regulatory and employment information, and the result was the retention of the operation in Copenhagen.

Second footprint strategy

Catalonia Trade & Investment, Spain

Catalonia Trade & Investment actively targets reinvestment projects from companies that are already based somewhere in Europe and are looking for expansion opportunities in the region. US-based online retailer Amazon, car manufacturer Tesla and UK-based supermarket Ocado have all invested in Catalonia as a result of this policy.

Staff training and performance management  

City Council of Barcelona, Spain

EDC Debrecen, Hungary

Midas, UK

Agência Paraná de Desenvolvimento, Invest in Paraná, Brazil

City of Šabac, Serbia

Scottish Enterprise, UK

Szczecin Municipal Government, Poland

Waterford City & County Council, Ireland

Soft landing

Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Germany

Business Birmingham, UK

Midas, UK

Start-up and SME support

Invest in the Basque Country, Spain

The Basque Country’s Bind 4.0 is a start-up accelerator that gives the investor access to Industry 4.0 customers. The accelerator is focused on companies in big data, additive manufacturing, artificial vision, cloud computing and robotics, among others. 

Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Germany

Incentives on offer for start-up companies in Berlin include the ProFIT early-stage financing programme, which provides funding for new tech start-ups to recruit staff and to cover operation costs. The city’s Joint Task Programme offers cash incentives in the form of non-repayable grants. 

Office of Economic Development, City of Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf established a Startup Unit and Innovation Initiative launched in late 2014, which in 2016 launched the digihub Düsseldorf/Rhineland as a platform for corporations, SMEs, universities and start-up companies to engage with each other. 

Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Start-up companies are a large focus of Invest Hong Kong’s investment attraction offering. In 2015, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation launched a HK$50m ($6.39m) fund that co-invests in start-up companies, with the aim of plugging the funding gap often encountered in the early stages of a technology start-up company. A support scheme offers HK$200,000 in financial assistance to start-ups conducting market research and promotion, such as trade fairs and exhibitions, outside of Hong Kong. 

New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

A $150m life sciences fund supports the development of fast-growing companies in the sector, while the Entrepreneurship Lab provides support to those starting new biotech and health tech ventures, providing them with connections to venture capitalists, medical clinics and non-profit foundations. Co-working and accelerator facilities, such as the BioLabs@NYULangone and Alexandria Center office and laboratory facility, supplement the support on offer. Similar support is given to other sectors, including finance, blockchain, real estate, healthcare and industrial sectors, and results are monitored by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Rezekne City Council, Latvia

Companies from high-growth sectors investing in Rezekne can access the Baltic Innovation fund and innovation voucher programmes, while offering finance from non-traditional investors on account of the higher risk nature of the investment. The innovation voucher programme encourages co-operation between business and science, giving financial support for the development of innovative products and technologies. 

Tech investment strategy

New York City Economic Development Corporation, US

More than 360,000 people are employed in the tech sector in New York City, which has more than $70bn in start-up valuations and exits annually. The New York City Economic Development Corporation boasts several initiatives for attracting investment in a range of tech sectors, including Digital Health Marketplace to attract healthcare companies, and CyberNYC, a $30m investment in the cybersecurity ecosystem of the city.