Visit Shanghai or Bangalore and you will come away convinced that these hot spots have a corner on worldwide growth and development. Similarly, the pace of construction in Budapest and Buenos Aires is compelling evidence that the worldwide economy is rapidly expanding.
But what if you want to be in on the ground floor of development success, before the multiplying hard hats and construction cranes make it clear that a location is poised for massive growth? Is there a way to predict the economic hubs of the future and select the right location for your investments and business expansion?
Expert panelists at the CoreNet Global Summit in Atlanta this fall argued that you can determine the next hot spots with the right questions and careful research into the answers. And they spotlighted dozens of cities in Asia, Europe and the Americas that offer a business climate that makes them ripe for development by growing companies.
In a session called “Around the World in 90 Minutes,” these experts delivered savvy advice on what to look for and which locations are the undiscovered “sleepers” that will be tomorrow’s success stories for business expansion.
Their advice on where to look comes with caveats, however. Low salaries and ample English-speaking workers will not compensate for some drawbacks, so companies need to review the options and local conditions thoroughly. Among the danger signs are inadequate infrastructure that makes telephone service or power supplies unreliable. Government regulations that are onerous or subject to rapid change are another pitfall to be wary of. High operating costs because of taxes or other considerations should also be taken into account.
With adequate advance research and insight borrowed from the panel experts, any business should be able to spin the globe and find a spot that suits their expansion or investment needs.
The AmericasDennis Donovan of Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting says the new Asian and Eastern European markets may have exotic attractions but North, Central and South America continue to have their own strong allure for outsourced call centers and manufacturing facilities. For example, Honduras is competitive with China when it comes to costs. He advises that those scouting for locations should look at places that offer benefits like political and currency stability, as well as a strong pool of bilingual workers.
Donovan, who is a renowned site selection expert, named some well-known locations as current investment hot spots: Calgary and Toronto in Canada; Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Tampa in the US; Monterrey in Mexico; San Jose in Costa Rica; and Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo in South America.
But you will have to pull out your atlas to find many of the locations he identifies as future investment hot spots. They include: