In Avalanche Consulting’s latest bi-annual survey in July, 104 economic developers indicate that 17% of economic development prospects come from foreign countries, the same share reported in 2011. The top 3 sources of international prospects are Germany, China and Canada.
Asian countries comprise a greater share of these prospects than two years ago. This reflects a slight drop in prospects from France and Spain, likely due to the uncertain economic situation in Europe, and a slight rise in prospects from Japan, Korea, and other Pacific Rim countries. The top two sources of international prospects, Germany and China, saw their share of prospect activity stay the same.
Prospects are companies that are considering an expansion/relocation and are competitively evaluating multiple cities as part of their decision. Economic development organizations often assist these companies with their information needs, site and building search, workforce assessments, and/or financing and incentives.
International prospect activity varies based on population size of the community seeking investment. Larger communities reported a larger share of foreign prospects, as illustrated in the table below.