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Blog Post: November 2018

Resilient FDI - Promoting Investment Opportunities within Sustainable Cities

  • 5th Nov 2018
  • Matt Harvey

I have just returned back to the office following my attendance at the UN World Cities Day observance held this year inside the aesthetically remarkable St Georges Hall, Liverpool.

The theme of the global event this year was tied to the eleventh sustainable development goal (SDG), sustainable cities and communities, with a clear focus on how resilience is built within cities and societies across a number of key topic areas including the environment, social demography's and population, economics and disaster relief and mitigation.

World Cities Day attracted city leaders and local governments from across the globe to share knowledge and best practice, as well as to raise awareness of issues faced and steps required to overcome these challenges.

When we think of the role that IPAs (Investment Promotion Agencies) and Governments play in growing their local and regional economies through attracting inward investment, we can begin to broaden the concept of place as a defining factor in potential investors decision making processes, the suitability of a location can be enhanced through the cities or regions determination to build a sustainable economy, both in terms of physical space and in regards to social and economic matters.

Place marketing is a key concept in relation to inward investment attraction, whilst property availability, labor force access and physical infrastructure are crucial in almost all cases, the nature of the location in regards to the quality of life factors play an increasingly important part in the process and what steps are being taken to improve cities through sustainable methods, a great example of this which I was delighted to learn more about is the massively ambitious project being undertaken by Liverpool City Council in Partnership with Poseidon group in which working together the aim is to make Liverpool the worlds first climate positive city by 2020 through the use of an innovative blockchain solution aimed at facilitating the security and exchange of tokenized carbon credits with the goal of offsetting the city's climate impact by more than 110 %.

The increased aim to significantly reduce the impact cities have on the environment as described by Liverpool's fantastic case above is just one area in which governments are increasing their standing on sustainability. At the event I was involved in a workshop in which the delegates got to hear from the Vice-Mayor of Sendai, Japan, Shinichi Takahasi, who spoke about the steps that have been taken and continue to improve disaster relief and mitigation in relation to natural disasters through new measures within areas most likely to be impacted, as highlighted by the devasting March 2011 Sendai earthquake, this included raised coastal protection and green spaces instead of buildings in areas likely to be affected by natural disaster, making Sendai a safer and greener city to work, live and visit.

It is clear that governments play a vital role in improving cities to become places that are socially aware, economically stable, environmentally friendly and are safe for local citizens and potential future residents. My prediction is that by taking these steps, IPA's and governments will open up more opportunities to attract investment from new age companies across all sectors and niche industry areas who are looking at expanding but who may not have been considering their city as a potential location, ultimately due to steps taken to future proof the location for issues we will undoubtedly face.

WAVTEQ's Sustainable Investment Advisory Service (SIAS) works with IPAs and EDOs to develop and implement investment promotion strategies to tap into the $12 trillion sustainable investment market including location assessment studies to identify key sustainable investment needs and opportunities, impact analysis of target FDI sectors on each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to review and develop incentive policies to encourage sustainable investment as well as many other services in relation to lead generation, sustainable FDI strategy and training and marketing services.

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