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From Site Selection magazine, April 2018

Going Big? Go to Asia.


For the second straight year, chemical/pharmaceutical facility investment has outpaced transportation equipment when measured by the number of private-sector facility projects tracked by the Conway Projects Database* in 2017.

As the chart below indicates, the totals in the four leading sectors were down somewhat compared to 2016. (Computer and Electronics Products moves into fifth place, displacing Plastic and Rubber Products.) The total number from these five sectors was 2,697, down about 10 percent from the 2016 total of 2,967, but nearly equal to the 2,760 projects tracked across the top five sectors in 2015.

2017 Top Industries

by Number of Projects

Industry New Exp. Total Year-over-Year
Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals 401 299 700 -8.4%
Transportation Equipment 386 280 666 -8.9%
Food Processing 309 282 591 -10.2%
Machinery (excl. Electrical) 203 187 390 -10.3%
Computers and Electronics Products 230 120 350 NA
Source: Conway Projects DAtabase

The drop doesn’t mean there was a dearth of megaprojects across the leading sectors: The map displays the top 10 by capital investment across the five leading sectors.

While North America continues to attract major deals across the board, the picture that emerges from these 50 projects (and the next 50 behind them) is cluster upon cluster of big projects blooming in China. Seven of the top 10 transportation equipment projects landed there, including plants from domestic companies such as Chery Automobile (with Jaguar Land Rover) and Jiangxi Changhe Automobile Co., both in Jiangsu province.

* The Conway Projects Database qualifies corporate facility investments involving new construction that bring at least one of three criteria: at least US$1 million invested; at least 20 new jobs created; or at least 20,000 new sq. ft. of space.

Adam Bruns
Managing Editor of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


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