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EDITOR'S VIEW
From Site Selection magazine, May 2016
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Economic Development’s New Math

EDITOR'S VIEW
by MARK AREND

Chances are, the same location criteria that drove your site decisions last year still apply this year. What’s new is the addition of measures before lawmakers and governors that apparently will make states’ business climates suddenly either horrible or ideal, depending on the outcome. Just like that. I repeat: The same location criteria that drove your site decisions last year still apply this year. But the textbook has changed.

We report on state business climates all the time — we rank states on that basis each November. I promise we will report on the extent to which legislative matters currently in the news are affecting changes in states’ performance in that ranking, and if and how they actually do influence site decisions.

In the meantime, you’ll find in the Unconventional Wisdom column by Patty Rasmussen a current corporate take on North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill from a company proceeding with its major expansion there rather than pulling up stakes and fleeing. Lots of other companies are investing there, too. And for reasons quite apart from the drama, the Tar Heel State shares the top spot in our annual ranking of the most competitive states with Texas, covered in this issue by Adam Bruns. These two states won our new Prosperity Cup, awarded to the state-level department of commerce or economic development agency behind the state’s business-attraction success and ensuing prosperity.

Speaking of awards, you will find in this issue our annual recognition of the Best to Invest nations overall and per capita — the locations that landed the most projects in 2015. We also honor the Top Investment Promotion Agencies in this feature — the national and regional teams that succeeded most demonstrably in making investors aware of their areas as location solutions.

In another awards-related development, our Top Groups are now winners of our new Mac Awards, in honor of Site Selection’s founding publisher, Mac Conway. This is a fitting tribute to Mac’s legacy as a pioneer and visionary in the economic development field.

On another note, since I last wrote this column, Conway has hosted two of its most successful events yet to date — the IAMC Spring 2016 Professional Forum in New Orleans, and the Global FDI Association’s World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment, in San Diego. Feedback on both conferences has been overwhelmingly positive. Plan to attend one or both in the future. The next IAMC Professional Forums will be in London June 21st to 23rd and Indianapolis Oct. 8th to 12th. The next World Forum for FDI will be in 2017 in Shanghai, China, June 19th to 21st. If you don’t already attend, come discover why your peers are forgoing other industry conferences but are making every effort to be at Conway events. It’s about return on investment, and that math doesn’t change.

Till next time,





Mark Arend
Editor in Chief

Mark Arend
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

 



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