How to attract investment and talent

In the headquarters of many multinational companies, strategic investment decisions are made today that will affect the future well-being of hundreds of territories and millions of families in the world.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 April 2024 Wednesday 04:24
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How to attract investment and talent

In the headquarters of many multinational companies, strategic investment decisions are made today that will affect the future well-being of hundreds of territories and millions of families in the world. These decisions are intended to accommodate capital and talent where they are most efficient.

This process takes on special relevance at a time when two unprecedented situations converge. On the one hand, the need to organize globalization in the face of growing geopolitical detachment, redirecting investments towards friendly countries. On the other hand, the emergence of technologies, scientific advances and environmental regulations that require businesses to be located globally that did not exist before (AI, semiconductors, electric mobility, green hydrogen, robotics, 3D, biotechnology...).

Many of the criteria considered to make these decisions change depending on the sector. And the human factor always counts: the trust of the headquarters in the local team is fundamental, as is the relationship of the decision-makers with suppliers, partners or key clients or even with local politicians.

Other requirements are general and are found recurrently in the spreadsheets that precede any decision. One is political stability and the strength of regulatory institutions and agencies. Another, legal security and the equal treatment granted to foreigners. And a third is the existence of an attractive fiscal framework, both for corporate and personal taxes, as it makes it easier to import talent.

Fundamental to deciding many investments is the quality of university and technical training (our reviled FP), necessary to incorporate local talent. The quality and openness of the schools is also important, which influences the displacement of the families of managers and experts. The size of the market in which the resulting products will be sold without hindrance (for us, that of the EU) is also essential.

The existence of sectoral specialization is always decisive, whether it comes from a pre-existing local business fabric or is the effect of large public investments (hence the importance of Perte projects, aimed at strengthening and creating specialization clusters). For many investments (industrial or in data centers, for example) it will be essential to have safe and cheap energy sources of renewable origin (a sudden advantage for Spain). For others, an acceptable labor cost will be essential. In many, the quality of the infrastructure (roads, trains, ports, airports, fiber optics...) will be relevant. And in others, the legal protection of research and innovation, its tax incentives and its social prestige weigh more.

A common element in the decisions is the agility of administrative procedures, as well as the political effort to reduce bureaucracy. Of course, the macroeconomic situation and its good governance matter; and the strength of the banking system and financial markets. And it is required to eradicate corruption and, increasingly, that there be a culture of effort, transparency and honesty.

Responsible political leaders compete around the world to overcome this scrutiny. They know that these strategic investments will be followed by others, from local companies and other investors, shaping together, indelibly and for generations, the success or failure of cities, regions and entire countries.