s much as this issue of Site Selection honors locations and the economic development organizations that help make them successful, it's still written with the corporate real estate manager in mind. Our hope is that those readers and others will learn about areas they didn't know about — and why some companies are already there.
Our Best-to-Invest rankings of nations and metros in five global regions include several that aren't likely on investors' radar screens — yet. But they rose to the top in our analysis of 2011 project activity resident in Site Selection's New Plant Database and research supplied by our partner in this exercise, Amsterdam-based Investment Consulting Associates, which markets the LocationSelector.com online market intelligence service.
And look where some of the Top Deals landed: Caracol, Haiti; Gyor, Hungary; and Harrismith, South Africa, are hardly global centers of industry and commerce. Yet those three locations alone attracted US$2.5 billion in investment and nearly 25,000 new jobs last year.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is capturing the attention of location advisors (see the Southeast Asia article) as it sheds its cloak of isolation and lets investment scouts in to see what's what.
Locations recognized in this issue as the Top Competitive States and Top Economic Development Groups are far better known, of course, but highly deserving of the recognition nonetheless. When the recession was taking root a few years ago, the Top Groups put in place strategies that would ensure growth in the future regardless of the state of the economy. That came to pass in 2011, as the Top Groups feature illustrates. Gov. Steve Beshear makes a similar point in the Kentucky spotlight, as does Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, which is recognized as the Top Competitive State for the second time in three years. Every state spotlight in this issue, in fact, casts a new light on the state's competitive advantages, as does the Quebec spotlight on how multinational subsidiaries compete more effectively in that province.These winning locations, and the runners up and honorable mentions, were recognized on April 23 by their peers and the cream of the corporate real estate executive industry at the Industrial Asset Management Council Spring 2011 Professional Forum in Austin, Texas. We again salute the Top Groups, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the locations around the world that welcomed the Top Deals of 2011 to their communities — those well known and those that will be.