From the January Issue


Put Me In, Coach

Aaron Renn says these 10 cities are ready for the big time. They just need to act like it.

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From the january Issue


Prime Movers

Auto manufacturing in Durban is pivotal to South Africa’s economic growth.

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The world region with the highest R&D expenditures in 2017 was East and Southeast Asia, outspending North America by nearly $257 billion.
Map courtesy of NSF, based on data from National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, October 2019

The National Science Foundation has released a number of new reports on its new Indicators website that are useful to companies and regions looking to boost their R&D and STEM skills quotients. The reports include “The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2020;” insights into inventions, knowledge transfer and innovation; a complete set of state indicators covering everything from elementary school math proficiency to high-tech startups and venture capital; and the latest data on R&D and its relation to industry. This map depicts where R&D spending is greatest by world region.

Among the capabilities of Conway Analytics is to track corporate facility investments by function (R&D, office, manufacturing, etc.). Since early 2015, that comes to around 2,160 projects with an R&D purpose behind them.

Top 10 Nations, R&D Facility Investment Projects, 2015-2019

United States1,017
United Kingdom113


Ireland-based employee share plan management software firm Global Shares has opened a new 50-employee office in Miyazaki, Japan, in addition to another new office in Nashville, Tennessee. According to Irish newspaper The Independent, the Japan office is projected to grow to 100 staff in the next few years, while the Nashville office, also starting with 50, could grow to 200 by 2021. The company now has 15 offices worldwide, having grown from a team of 50 at its HQ in West Cork Business and Technology Park to a global payroll of 330.

Source: Conway Analytics


The constant flow of investment by into fulfillment centers continued in November with a $100 million, 500-job commitment to a 1-million-sq.-ft. facility in Auburndale, Florida, a state where the company already employs more than 13,500 full-time associates. Starting pay at the facility being developed by Prologis will be $15 an hour, plus comprehensive benefits.

Source: Conway Analytics




PwC’s 23rd survey of almost 1,600 CEOs from 83 countries was launched this week at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “As we enter a new decade, CEOs are showing record levels of pessimism in the global economy, with 53% predicting a decline in the rate of economic growth in 2020,” the survey reports. “This is up from 29% in 2019 and just 5% in 2018 — the highest level of pessimism since we started asking this question in 2012.”

In another PwC report released earlier this month, Barret Kupelian, senior economist at PwC UK, said it’s all part of a shift from globalization to “slowbalization.” (Hey, he said it, not us.) However, “while confidence levels are generally down across the world, there is a wide variation from country to country,” PwC reports, “with China and India showing the highest levels of confidence among major economies at 45% and 40% respectively, the US at 36%, Canada at 27%, the UK at 26%, Germany at 20%, France 18%, and Japan having the least optimistic CEOs with only 11% of  CEOs very confident of growing revenues in 2020.”



Site Selection Managing Editor Adam Bruns made this photo last week from the Liberty Bridge at Falls Park on the Reedy in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Earlier this month, the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC) announced that the county saw 30 corporate facility locations or expansions in 2019, totaling $401.8 million in investment and creating more than 2,175 jobs. The annual total was surpassed by one project in 2016, when the county tallied 31 projects. “Early in 2019 we were concerned about a slowdown, but it’s frankly been a tremendous year for Greenville County by virtually any metric we monitor,” said Mark Farris, President and CEO of the GADC, who sat for an interview with Bruns last week. Watch for more in the March issue of Site Selection.