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BEST TO INVEST: AWARDS
From Site Selection magazine, May 2015
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The First Annual Best to Invest

BEST TO INVEST: AWARDS
T

he editors of Site Selection and a distinguished panel of global foreign direct investment experts and site consultants are pleased to announce the Top Global Investment Promotion Agencies for 2015.

These agencies accumulated the most points in a set of criteria that include:

  • Most professionally responsive to investor inquiries
  • Most knowledgeable and linguistically diverse staff
  • Most access to user-friendly databases of sites and incentives, both general and sector-specific
  • Best information on timing expectations for permitting and other processes
  • Best access to recent investors in the region for testimonials
  • Best reputation for protecting investor confidentiality
  • Best reputation for after-care services

“The Best to Invest Top Agencies Awards serve three purposes,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection magazine. “First, they recognize the commitment to excellence the leadership and staff at these agencies have exhibited to date. Second, they are a reminder to these agencies of the importance of maintaining and building on their professionalism and excellence in the future — to not relax their standards. And third, they signal to potential investors that their experience learning about a region and its capital investment potential via these agencies’ staff and online resources will result in a highly favorable outcome, even if a decision to invest capital does not result. My colleagues on the panel and I salute these agencies’ success today and in the future.”

 


Eastern Europe

NATIONAL

czechinvest.org/en

  • The Czech Republic is a prime location for transport and logistics because of its perfect location with regard to consumption and production zones.
  • Offers corporate tax relief for up to 10 years for new companies and partial corporate tax relief for up to 10 years for existing companies.
  • R&D spending has increased from 0.95% of GDP in 1995 to 1.88% GDP in 2014
  • According to Czech National Bank, a total of EUR 77.8 Billion worth of FDI has been recorded in the country since 1993.
Prague’s astronomical clock
Photo by Vitezslav Valka

NATIONAL

investinmacedonia.com

  • Signatory of three multilateral Free Trade Agreements and two bilateral Free Trade Agreements give Macedonia duty free access to more than 650 million consumers.
  • Inflation rate has remained at less than 2% over the last 13 years.
  • Great tax incentives such as 0% tax on reinvested profits.
Church Plaoshnik in Ohrid, Macedonia
Photo by Stojce Slavkovski

 


Western Europe

REGIONAL

businessbirmingham.com

  • Birmingham has innovative economic zones generating $2.2 billion and creating 50,000 jobs.
  • Nearly $2 billion will be invested into the Birmingham infrastructure by 2015.
  • Over 300,000 students and 100,000 graduates live within an hour’s drive of Birmingham.
  • In 2011, Birmingham had the second highest number of created jobs in any city outside of London, with 6,738 jobs from 58 projects.
Birmingham, England
Photo by Bogdan Lazar

REGIONAL

invest-in-saxony-anhalt.com

  • Saxony-Anhalt had the strongest rise in direct investments of all the states of Germany in 2013, with a growth of 114%.
  • 355 direct investments, totaling over 10 billion Euro have been made since 1992 by foreign investors in Saxony-Anhalt.
  • Investors in Saxony-Anhalt benefit from one of the highest investment funding rates in Germany, combined with fast approval and short project times for investment projects.
  • Saxony-Anhalt's central location in Germany as well as in Europe and a state-of-the-art infrastructure guarantees the best access to the Eastern and Western European markets.
Magdeburg, Germany
Photo by Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski

NATIONAL

idaireland.com

  • The economy of Ireland grew by 4.8% in 2014, the fastest rate in Europe.
  • The GDP of Ireland is projected to grow by 3.3% in 2015, way more than the EU’s average (1.7%), according to a forecast by the European Commission.
  • IDA Ireland has partnered with over 1,150 clients to help them establish and increase their Irish operations.
  • Ireland’s education system is ranked 5th globally for its quality by the WEForum.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Photo by Hille Tulp

NATIONAL

gtai.de/invest

  • As the largest economy in Europe, Germany remains its economic engine, with a good economic growth forecast: 1.5% in 2015 and 2% in 2016.
  • Competitive tax rates: Domestic and multinational German companies are charged a statutory income tax rate of 37%; but the median effective tax rate is 16% for the locals and 24% for the MNCs.
  • The IT and telecommunications sector is the second-largest industrial employer in Germany after mechanical engineering. In the last five years, the sector has generated 125,000 jobs.
  • Germany is a key trade player, ranking third in amount of goods and services exported, after China and the USA.
Germany
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

 


Asia-Pacific

REGIONAL

http://www.investhk.gov.hk

  • Hong Kong is a window to world trade: its exports of goods and services represent about 230% of its GDP, and its imports about 229%.
  • Companies established in Hong Kong benefit from the best travel, logistics and telecommunications infrastructure in the world (1st rank in Infrastructure - Doing Business 2015).
  • Hong Kong is strategically located in the most dynamic region in the world, with every capital city of East and Southeast Asia less than five hours away.
  • Hong Kong represents a high global appeal for its vibrant and cosmopolitan identity.
Hong Kong
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

REGIONAL

www.investkl.com/

  • Malaysia’s 2015 Budget creates additional investment incentives to attract more MNCs to establish their global operational centers and regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Greater Kuala Lumpur is home to 7.2 million people and is one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs: 8th busiest airport and 11th busiest container port in Asia.
  • A multibillion-dollar plan is currently expanding the mass rapid transit system, further connecting together the Greater KL conurbation.
  • KL has a competitive business environment with significantly lower rental costs than other cities in Asia (Knight Frank Research).
Petronas Towers
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

NATIONAL

mida.gov.my

  • Malaysia is a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement negotiations and, with the nine other ASEAN members, will form the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
  • With tough reforms, Malaysia has steadily improved its Doing Business environment, from 25th (2008) to 18th (2015).
  • Malaysia taxes corporate income at 27%, but after deductions the local based companies pay an average of 19% in taxes while the multinationals pay around 17%.
Puteri Harbour at Night
Photo courtesy sxc.hu

NATIONAL

www.edb.gov.sg

  • This year, Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday.
  • For the eighth year, Singapore maintains its position as the world’s most business-friendly economy (World Bank’s Doing Business 2015).
  • Singapore’s advanced economy remains in the top 10 for its GDP per capita ($55,182), in front of the United States.
  • An economy with high R&D intensity: Singapore has the 6th highest level of R&D expenditure per capita, and is the 4th high-technology products exporter ($135bn in 2013).
Singapore
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

 


Middle East & Africa

REGIONAL

investinizmir.com

  • Izmir exports have increased by 3.1% in 2014.
  • Izmir has the second largest commercial center in Turkey.
  • Izmir’s training programs rank third among the 81 provinces of Turkey, and have an average of 8.6 years training time.
  • Izmir ranks third among the 81 provinces of Turkey in terms of population and socioeconomic development.
Alp Tulunay in Izmir, Turkey
Photo courtesy sxc.hu

REGIONAL

shurooq.gov.ae

  • In the last 20 years (2005-2014), Sharjah’s GDP grew by 182%.
  • In 2011, the total value of trade between Sharjah and Arab countries exceeded $3 billion.
  • Sharjah’s manufacturing sector represents 33% of the UAE’s total manufacturing sector, with over 1,444 registered establishments.
  • Sharjah has over 5,600 undergraduate students from 90 different countries.
Sharjah
Photo courtesy Shurooq

NATIONAL

invest.gov.ma

  • Morocco climbed the competitiveness ladder from 117th in 2006 to 85th in 2015 (World Bank Doing Business).
  • The kingdom has a strong commitment to make business easier: Over the past years, the country implemented a reform package to ease starting a business, paying taxes, getting credit, and dealing with construction permits.
  • Morocco has a unique political stability in the region, and resilient economic growth (4.4% in 2013, and estimated 3% in 2014 and 4.6% in 2015)
  • Morocco ranks 1st for its infrastructures in the continent, with Casablanca and Tangier as two world-class logistic hubs.
Casablanca, Morocco, Hassan II mosque
Photo by Spencer Desmond

NATIONAL

investintunisia.tn

  • Tunisia stands out as Africa’s most developed country (the Human Development Index ranks it 1st).
  • 2nd most business-friendly African economy and 1st for Higher Education & Training (World Bank Doing Business 2015).
  • Tunisia is the best trade platform to Europe: In 2012, the EU was Tunisia’s first trading partner with a total trade accounting for 62.9% of Tunisian trade.
  • Tunisia benefits from a strategic location between Africa, Europe (1-hour flight) and the Middle East (3-hour flight).
  • Tunisia is the best African economy for the availability of scientists and engineers (WEForum’s Report).
Boat on a Tunisian salt flat
Photo by Lola Rodriguez

NATIONAL

www.thedti.gov.za/

  • South Africa is home to the world’s 15th longest railroad network and 15th biggest road network. The country’s seven commercial ports form by far the largest, best-equipped and most efficient network on the continent.
  • With a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in wireless and satellite communication, the country has the most developed telecommunication network in Africa.
  • Gauteng is the financial capital of Africa with 70+ foreign banks having head offices in the province.
  • More than 8 million students are benefiting from the no-fee school policy, which has helped increase enrolment in secondary schools from 51% in 1992 to 80% currently (2015).
Johannesburg, South Africa
Photo by Aldon Scott McLeod

 


Latin America & Caribbean

REGIONAL

investinbogota.org

  • Companies located in Bogota have direct access to the US$378-billion Colombian market.
  • With free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in operation, companies based in Bogota have access to an extended market of US$44 trillion and 1.4 billion inhabitants.
  • Bogota is strategically located in the center of the Americas — less than six hours by plane from New York, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo.
  • Bogota’s young and skilled 4.5-million-strong workforce ensures the scalability of any operation.
Bogota
Photo by David Knox

REGIONAL

panamapacifico.com

  • Highest rate of local English speakers in Central America (15% of population)
  • Over 180 daily flights to 68 destinations in 28 countries via COPA Airlines’ Hub of the Americas, Tocumen International Airport (PTY)
  • Five (5) systems for submarine fiber-optic cables crossing Panama, giving the country the best connectivity in Latin America and virtually unlimited capacity bandwidth
  • Strategic location as a world trade hub, near the Panama Railroad and the Port of Balboa with direct access to the Pan-American Highway, which connects to Panama and Central America.
Panama City
Photo by Silvia Marquez

NATIONAL

cinde.org

  • 7.1% of GDP comes from Education
  • Its GDP per capita is one of the highest in the region ($14,344).
  • Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in Latin America (96.2%).
  • It has a young population: 34% is between 15-34 years old.
Costa Rican toucan
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

NATIONAL

investt.co.tt

  • Unemployment rate of 3.8% (2014) one of the lowest in Latin America
  • Investment Grade Status: Standard and Poors – A, Moody’s – Baa1 (Nov 2014)
  • Easily accessible to major cities throughout the world via The Piarco International Airport, a vital hub for international air traffic in the region.
Trinidad
Photo by Ramona Heim

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