Foreign Direct Investment: Globalizing Chicago's Economic Development Plans

September 10, 2012

By: Michael H. Moskow, Vice Chair and Distinguished Fellow, Global Economy; William A. Osborn, Former CEO and Chairman, Northern Trust

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs published Foreign Direct Investment: Globalizing Chicago's Economic Development Plans on September 10, 2012. The report builds on the economic development framework laid out in World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. It highlights Chicago’s strengths and competitive advantages, analyzes the strategies of leading global cities, and offers specific, actionable recommendations that the region can take to improve its performance in increasing investment from foreign companies.

Michael H. Moskow, former head of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and vice chair and senior fellow on the global economy at The Chicago Council, and William A. Osborn, former CEO and chairman of Northern Trust Corporation, cochaired the study group of 18 prominent local business and civic leaders convened by the Council to examine the opportunities and put forth recommendations.

The report concludes that a successful FDI initiative requires:
  • Strategy: The most successful cities do not cast a wide net but identify companies in industries that play to their strengths. The Chicago region can make progress by pursuing foreign-owned companies with established U.S. operations and focusing on high-potential targets, such as China. 
  • Leadership: Elected officials and government agencies across the 7- county region, must better coordinate efforts and resources toward a common goal.  
  • Capacity: The global cities that have been most successful at attracting FDI have designated a lead investment promotion agency. The study group recommends designating World Business Chicago as the one-stop shop for foreign investment and augmenting its scope and capabilities to coordinate FDI activities and help develop and implement a focused strategy.
Foreign Direct Investment: Globalizing Chicago's Economic Development Plans

Media Coverage

Read “A Global Chicago,” an editorial written by the study group cochairs, Michael H. Moskow and William A. Osborn, published by the Chicago Tribune on August 11, 2012.

Read “Bye-Bye, Jobs,” an editorial published by the Chicago Tribune on September 9, 2012.

Read “Study: Chicago Should Lead Regional Push for Foreign Investment,” an article published by the Chicago Tribune on September 9, 2012.
 

About the Author