While FDI for services and technology-related enterprises is growing, manufacturing remains important because of its job-creating possibilities. But which locations around the world are successfully attracting production facilities? 

In an assessment of inbound greenfield FDI between 2012 and 2016, Jiangsu, on China’s eastern coast, ranks as the top state in the Asia-Pacific region for manufacturing. This is followed by Java in Indonesia, which is second across all three variables (jobs created, capital investment and project numbers) for Asia-Pacific. The two states also rank first and second, respectively, on a global basis.  



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In the ranking of top cities in Asia-Pacific, Rayong in Thailand attracted the most manufacturing jobs (more than 37,500), while two Chinese cities rank first for capital investment and project numbers: Guangzhou received FDI worth $12.4bn and Shanghai totalled 127 projects.

Russia rules

Russian states dominate the rankings for manufacturing FDI in emerging Europe. Accounting for 140 FDI projects worth $16.2bn and attracting more than 40,000 new jobs, Central Federal District is first across all three categories.

According to investors’ motives recorded by greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, establishing a presence in the state offers them a central location to better serve a growing demand for manufacturing in the region, with access to road and rail infrastructure an additional benefit. Manufacturing investments were most common in the food and beverage industry in emerging Europe, accounting for 21% of total projects.

Other Russian states – Privolzhsky Federal District, Northwestern Federal District, Southern Federal District, Siberian Federal District, Far Eastern Federal District, Urals Federal District, and North Caucasian Federal District – also appear in the top 10 for project numbers, capital investment and job creation in emerging Europe. St Petersburg is the top city for job creation in the region, boasting more than 9000 new jobs between 2012 and 2016.

UK on top

In western Europe, the UK makes a strong impact, with the West Midlands region welcoming nearly 17,000 jobs, 3289 of them in the city of Wolverhampton. This places them at the top of the state and city rankings, respectively, for job creation. Scotland also shows up well, placing third for both job creation and project numbers, and fourth for capital investment.

In the same vein, top spots for capital investment and project numbers are also claimed by a state and one of a city lying within it. Catalonia and Martorell – home of automaker Seat's headquarters – rank first for capital investment, while Vlaams Gewest and Antwerp in Belgium rank first for job creation.

In the Middle East and Africa, Oromia in Ethiopia ranks first among states for job creation, with more than 30,000 new jobs announced between 2012 and 2016. A large slice of this came from Ayka Addis Textile & Investment’s textiles manufacturing plant, which created 13,000 jobs. Suez in Egypt tops the capital investment ranking for states, attracting $10.1bn of FDI; and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates received the highest number of FDI projects (45). The city of Dubai also ranks first for project numbers. Tanger in Morocco is first among Middle East and African cities for job creation, while Jubail in Saudi Arabia is the leading city for capital investment.

Mexico dominates

Mexican cities hold all the top 10 spots for job creation in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2012 and 2016, and Mexican states take nine of the top 10 spots – Brazil’s São Paulo being the only non-Mexican state in this category, in fourth.

Mexican cities are also top in capital investment and projects numbers, with Monterrey receiving FDI worth $5.1bn and Silao landing 51 projects. São Paulo is the top state for project numbers and capital investment, receiving 175 projects worth $10.4bn.

In North America, Texas is the top state for capital investment ($22.8bn of FDI) and job creation (more than 20,000 jobs). State capital Austin is the leading city in the capital investment and jobs created rankings ($52.3bn of FDI and 4437 jobs). Meanwhile, South Carolina is the top state for project numbers (157), with Houston the top city (20).