Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

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Regional lists of EDO's : economic development organizations

Also known as IPA's : investment promotion agencies)

These regional directories may also include professional service providers (see also global directories) and other information resources below the lists of area representatives.

Refer also to the links for selective regional project announcements by location.  We update this information as we work with professionals to share knowledge about their areas for search purposes, such as through Area Surveys, Area Profiles, and other services.


The Google site search (button at upper right of every page) is a fast and easy way to find content on this website.


We have also developed other custom search tools.  Try Search: Americas at our new website


US : Northeast US : Great Lakes Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan

Highlights :  

Directory of cross-border humanitarian services for economic development.


The International Business Introduction Service

for Technology-Led Business Cluster Development


Background Information about this unique B2B service

which collaborates globally with local economic development programs

such as business retention, expansion, trade, and cluster initiatives

to introduce executives to potentially relevant business contacts

according to their specified interests and preferences

without waiting to meet at InterTech networking events.

Contact : Phil Eadon - Biographic Profile

The links above are for lists of area representatives (economic development organizations or investment promotion agencies) by region.  There are links to their websites as well as various GUIDE services (GUIDE = Globally Uniform Investment Data & Experience) to highlight timely knowledge about participating areas, including project announcements and corporate real estate in a consistent manner worldwide.  See also our award sponsorships and the GUIDE Area Profiles.

These links lead to the same regional tables of contacts as found through the Professionals, Contacts, or Maps buttons, or through link tables like the above at the bottom of most pages as a shortcut for navigational convenience.

The explanation below shares some of our thoughts about working with area representatives, based upon more than a decade of professional work in this niche with many investors through countless contacts for projects of all sizes worldwide.

We're glad to help offer appropriate introductions in any area on an independent basis.  Download a 2 page article (Adobe PDF) summarizing what we do.  If we maintain a working relationship with an area representative, such as to help fund our work and maintain better knowledge of their area, that will be openly disclosed in their Area Profile, available through these regional lists of contacts.

Our new "advertising recall" service selectively highlights recently published ads, with website links and contacts for easy reference.

A similar "event recall" service highlights event sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers as opportunities to meet, and as a potential indication of their industry focus .

Our selective list of local "familiarization tours" and special promotional activities may interest executives and their advisors as a way to learn about some areas.

Our "Data Pointers" and GIS Map Makers services provide quick access to data about areas which may be published through many websites, rather than a single source.

There is also a new service to highlight "Point of View" analysis by professionals who identify verifiable data sources as they share their own local market knowledge.

The list of professional business location consultants, other service providers, and "consultant tips" may be helpful to identify resources for project planning.

The Research section also highlights many potential sources of information, as does our Bookshelf feature in association with

We selectively highlight available promotional materials as well as labor market profiles or other potentially useful research reflecting local market knowledge.

Major project announcements and GUIDE Project Profiles by area - see also by Industry

These are selective lists of project announcements from the past few years, which we use to highlight openly published details and contacts for easy reference.

We list major project announcements here for the convenience of investors and their advisors to recognize developments of potential interest in a region or industry.

There are professional research services which track and analyze trends in project announcements for their clients more comprehensively.  That is not our business.

Published articles about investment activity can also be found through our selective summary of editorial calendars by region or by topic, and our list of publishers.

US : Northeast US : Great Lakes East and Midwest Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
Trade promotion or other business development programs - whether at the local, regional, or national levels
These lists are under development, as they are not the main focus of our work with direct investment projects, but may sometimes be helpful resources for executives.
B2B Alliances, R&D Commercialization NAFTA  CAFTA, and FTAA  G20 European Union APEC
How do we define "area representatives"?  What can they do for executives?

"Area representatives" includes a wide range of organizations which do work, usually on a non-profit or governmental basis, sometimes as a public-private sector partnership, to promote and support community development within a local county, metropolitan area, multi-county region, state, provincial, or national area.  This includes public utilities, chambers of commerce, and other economic development organizations which support corporate investment projects as local or regional area representatives.  Similar organizations may not provide the same services, because they focus their limited resources according to their business development strategies.

Their areas of responsibility often overlap.  Multiple organizations within a large area may address different aspects of investment projects, whether coordinated as an integrated "one-stop shop" team effort, or perhaps as a more fragmented but cooperative service.  In some cases, local organizations even compete to some degree against each other, and may have rivalries about who "gets credit" when new investments arrive (or blame when they leave).

This may include "economic development" organizations, which are sometimes also called "offices", "alliances", "partnerships", or "industrial development" corporations or agencies.  In other countries, they are sometimes referred to as "investment promotion agencies", even though their role may actually include far more than just investment promotion tasks.  In particular, most leading agencies have very active programs to support business retention and expansion among existing companies in their areas.

Some organizations operate quite independently of governmental control for most tasks, even if that is a major source of funding and a factor in the scope and delivery of their services.  Others can be quite politicized, or try to "steer" investment to particular places.

Their degree of experience and understanding of critical business investment issues from the investor perspective, as opposed to their own self-interests, varies widely.  They are often trying to support many companies and complex projects with very limited resources.

Even if your general perception is that contact with any organization which is remotely governmental in nature is a waste of time, area representatives don't generally fit that mold.  They usually try very sincerely to help projects develop faster and better in their areas.

Aren't they just for incentives?  Or a risk to project confidentiality?

No.  In recent years, excessive focus on investment incentives has blurred the much larger role of these organizations, and other ways in which they can be valuable.

In the case of investment incentives, the role varies widely between organizations.  Some would actually be on the other side of such negotiations, trying to both "win" a project in competition with other areas while also trying to limit the impact on their available resources for such incentives.  Other organizations have no direct role in such negotiations, and can actually help to advise investors about the incentives which may be available, and how to negotiate with the responsible authorities. 

It is important to recognize the difference, and also to consider any issues such as project confidentiality when making contact with such organizations.  Most are very discreet and professional in their handling of project enquiries, but some are not, and those organizations with more political influence may have more of a problem in this regard when dealing with major projects because of the potential political impact of "winning" or "losing" a project for their area.

The key point is that they often have extensive local contacts and market knowledge to share about the local business environment for investors which can be very useful, and their support can be very influential for the speed and success of a project.  Even in places where virtually no financial incentives exist, their ability to cut through red tape and introduce key contacts or share their practical experience from work with other companies in their area can affect the project timeline and return on investment.

In some countries the role is more one of investment oversight than promotion or direct assistance (financial, advisory, or networking), but usually the mandate is to help promote business investment, often with a focus on particular types of projects or industry sectors as priorities according to the development agenda of the area.

If incentives and confidentiality are major issues for a project, it can be a good idea to talk to location consultants who have experience working with many areas.  They can generally do far more for an investor than the free services of a development agency because of their experience across many regions and projects, and there is no question whose side they are on in any negotiations.  Even if they may turn to area representatives to help address some issues, most of their work is done very independently of such contacts, and they can conceal the identity of their client when necessary. 

See also : "The Rumor Mill Solution" and our views on "Project Confidentiality" among the area representatives with whom we work closely.

When should a project team contact local area representatives?

There is no simple rule for this.  It really depends upon the nature of the project, and especially the degree of confidentiality which is required, as well as the extent of likely competition among multiple areas for the project.  Keep in mind, however, that even a simple approach by a staff member to gather local information can "tip off" such an organization about a potential project and, if they start "fishing" for more details, there can be unintended problems.  If contact is to be made, it is often better to be very candid about the reason, and to spell out any sensitivities, to avoid needless risk of speculation, inappropriate contacts, or potential confusion.

For example, when planning a post-merger consolidation of operations, any leak of plans or speculation about potential facility closures can perhaps trigger disruptive and costly labor disputes, resignations, or other business problems.  As another example, if the project represents strategic entry into a new market where there are established competitors who should not know about the project in advance, there may also be greater need for caution.

On the other hand, local area representatives can be extremely motivated and helpful, and most can be very discreet.  The more they know about your needs, the more opportunities they have to find creative ways to be of help, and thereby try to differentiate the support of business in their areas by comparison to any competing locations.  If they understand the sensitivities behind a project, they can also sometimes be very helpful.  For example, they may even be able to help understand the potential issues and pave the way for a smoother transition in the case of a major closure in their area, and can perhaps even work with the departing company to help find a buyer for an operation that is being closed, or to exit without a lot of needless bad publicity.  When acquiring a company in their area, they may be very motivated to help the deal go as smoothly as possible, in the hope that the company will soon grow in stronger hands.

Above all, keep in mind that we can help make such introductions or help a project team to gather information very discreetly when necessary.

When should a project team be cautious about such contacts?

Excluding situations which have strong confidentiality issues, it can generally be useful to have contacts with area representatives from a very early stage of planning, so that they can provide as much support throughout the planning process as possible. 

They often work with companies for years before a project is implemented in their areas, and many projects never materialize, or are lost to competing areas.  They realize this.  The better organizations can still be extremely helpful, especially if you clearly define what you need from them, and deal with them forthrightly.   Don't think it is "too early" to talk to them, or that they won't be interested because it isn't a "hot" project opportunity for them yet.

Needless evasion about plans tends to frustrate them, however, and convince them that they are wasting their time dealing with somebody who isn't seriously interested in their area, and is perhaps just using them for bargaining leverage somewhere else.  The key is that, if you are serious about potentially investing in their area, you should want to start developing (and testing) the quality of the working relationship from an early stage.  After all, you may need their help even more during the implementation stages of a project in their areas, or as the company grows later, so it is good to develop an early relationship and "size them up" (and their competitors) as an organization which you may need to deal with for many years.

Keep in mind, however, that if the area representatives are likely to play a significant role in any incentive negotiations, that may need to influence how much information you share.  For example, if they become convinced that you are going to do the project in their area anyway, why would they commit to as attractive an incentive package as may otherwise be viable?

Once again, location consultants can be a very valuable resource in this regard, also from the earliest stages of strategic planning and project definition, even before the company gets down to specific choices about the scope or scale of an investment, or the "long list" of places which might be logical alternatives to locate a project.  They can help you to differentiate objectively among competing locations, and to understand how well local areas have supported similar projects in the past, as two very valuable aspects of their work.  They can make the local introductions at the appropriate stage of your specific planning process, no matter how early or late in the project planning cycle that may be in your case.

Major recent project announcements and GUIDE Project Profiles by area (selective lists) - see also by Industry
US : Northeast US : Great Lakes East and Midwest Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
Major project announcements by industry sector  (selective directories) These directories summarize billion of dollars in recent project announcements by major companies, with links to sources of information about their chosen locations.
Advanced Materials - Ceramics, metals Aerospace Automotive Biotechnology Customer Contact Centers, Call Centers Chemicals
Computers Construction materials Consumer electronics Consumer goods - durable and non Defense Electronics
Energy Financial and professional services Food & Beverage Processing Hospitality, Tourism Logistics Machinery & tools for  manufacturing
Medical device and Healthcare Products Packaging Paper products Pharmaceutical Plastics Publishing, printing and communications
Recreational vehicles Retail Semiconductor Software Telecommunications Textile & Apparel
Selective lists of major companies, their websites, and area representatives organized by location  (under development, suggestions welcome)
US : Northeast    NY   CT   MA US : Great Lakes    OH  MI  IL  WI  MN Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic   PA  NJ  MD  VA  NC US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast   FL  GA US : South Central  Texas

US : West Coast

Northern CA , Southern CA

Central America, Caribbean
Europe   UK  Germany  Benelux  France  Scandinavia Switzerland South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia & Pacific Korea Japan

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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Global Direct Investment Solutions, Inc.      Last modified: 01/27/09