cash2.pngSSorry for the silence. But we are at the midst of the Open Days , the crazy days of the regional policy community in Brussels. More than 150 seminars and 7400 (according to the organisers) participants and yes, there is the “Investors Café”. While the European Week of Cities and Regions is no doubt a worthwhile initiative as networking platform and showcase for the EU regional policy community, I wonder whether anybody has seen a real investor at the café? I mean a senior-level corporate decision maker with the intent to commit money and resources, someone who wants to develop their business internationally, i.e. the type of people you meet at the Expo Real in Munich or the MIPIM in Cannes? Let’s face it the Open Days are surely not on the radar screens of these people, so the format we have now is kind of misleading. If anybody out there in the blogosphere has some good ideas what to do about it, send me a comment. I’ll be happy to pass it on to the Committee of the Regions ?

By the way, speaking about investors, …
I wonder how the banking disaster will affect FDI ? According to the UNCTAD World Investment Prospects Survey (WIPS) 2008-2010, published on 28 September, the percentage of companies planning large increases in investment overseas over the next three years has dropped significantly from 2007. However, the majority of the (226) companies surveyed still plan to increase their international investment expenditures over the next three years due to a persistent trend towards internationalisation. The survey lists 15 top destinatinations for FDI (in that order): China, India, the United States, the Russian Federation, Brazil, Vietnam, Germany, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Turkey.

However, with global credit drying up and the crisis spreading like a stampede these estimations are outdated already. From a European perspective it should be clear that the impact of this will make government-led investments such as the Structural Funds and efforts to stimulate growth through research and innovation and clusters even more important. Especially in economic times like these, the innovative regions are the ones that will prosper. Are you ready?

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