Thursday, November 1, 2012

Economic Development Trends

The recent Ohio EDA conference welcomed site selector Brad Lindquist from Deloitte.

You don't get Pollyanna from a site selector so that's why I was all the more happy to hear most of the trends Brad shared were upbeat from my perspective.  Here's a few of note:

  • On China:  "Our clients are bypassing China."  Deloitte had China visits once per month a few years ago and now is at a third of that pace or lower.

  • On Foreign Direct Investment in Ohio:  The top five countries for FDI in the U.S. are UK, Germany, Japan, Canada, and France.  Ohio enjoys the same top five, albeit not in that order.

  • On Talent:  Always number one among site selection criteria, but talent is now more a site driver as sites themselves are taken for granted as being ready-to-go anyway.

  • More on Talent:  He called it the "talent paradox" adding, "Man hours are being replaced by kilowatt hours." Automation continues to advance, of course.

  • On Reshoring:  He confirmed this trend saying, "We are seeing reshoring of production and customer contact centers." 

  • On Capital:  He also confirmed that large companies are "hoarding cash" while they are waiting for the election and watching Europe's economy as well.

  • On Europe:  He cautioned optimism about a continually improving economy noting that, historically, 80% of GDP growth in the U.S. is tied to the European Union.  That's not so good.

Five out of seven isn't bad.

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