chapter  6
18 Pages

Where Next for FDI?

We’ve kind of taken for granted that people will want to come here,

and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract

new business into America.

Barack Obama, Hawaii, November 2011

Most statistical data sets, surveys, indices and anecdotal evidence suggest

that the global FDI landscape is now formed by a somewhat ambiguous

mix of cautious optimism and unwavering uncertainty. The bar charts are

starting to rise again, businesses leaders increasingly speak of the need

to seek out new markets, and yet issues such as the eurozone sovereign

debt crisis and uprisings and tensions in the Middle East serve as a

potent reminder of the world’s enduring instabilities. In the midst of

such instabilities, corporate investors are now seeking to navigate their

courses to sustainable growth. While the seas may be rougher, the skies are

undoubtedly clearer, thanks to unprecedented levels of data, transparency

and interconnectivity. All of these factors mean that economic development

organisations need to become smart and focused when it comes to

identifying which sectors and companies to target, and how to engage with

them.