New Report Shows Chicago #1 for 8th Consecutive Year 

CHICAGO–World Business Chicago today announced that, for the eighth year in a row, Chicago leads the U.S. in foreign direct investment (FDI) according to the 2020 IBM Global Location Trends report. The annual report, which outlines the latest trends in corporate location selection, named Chicago the top North American metro in foreign direct investment projects.

“Chicago is a leader in the global economy,” said Michael Fassnacht, CEO & President, World Business Chicago. “This ranking demonstrates what we hear from companies around the world — they see Chicago as the city where their business is best set up for success and growth, where they can create jobs and economic opportunities across the city. Our work creating and sustaining economic partnerships around the world and growing our international network ensures that Chicago will continue to lead on the global stage for many years to come.”

  • Chicago ranks first in North America in foreign direct investment for the eighth year running in terms of the total number of FDI projects.
  • Chicago ranks #6 in foreign direct investment globally.

“Last year Netherlands-based company Newcold chose Chicago for its North American headquarters,” said Jonas Swarttouw, VP Customer & Business Development, Newcold North America. “Chicago is a great city because of its access to a robust pipeline of diverse talent, central location, and business infrastructure. In our short time in the city, we’ve discovered that the growth opportunities are so vast and plentiful, we expect to exceed current plans for our local footprint.”

A hub of international business activity, Chicago is home to more than 1,800 foreign-based companies, accounting for more than $140 billion in foreign direct investment. World Business Chicago continuously works to increase foreign direct investment with initiatives including the Gateway Cities Agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Global Cities Economic Partnership with Mexico City, Chicago-London City Data Alliance, and Tel Aviv-Yafo –Chicago Partnership. These efforts serve as a model to enhance economic ties with other countries and global cities to facilitate trade and foreign direct investment.

The IBM Global Location Trends report shows where companies are locating, expanding, and creating jobs around the world. Projects must meet IBM criteria, including having created more than ten jobs, to qualify. For more information, visit IBM Global Location Trends.

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