Where Will the Next Economic Hubs Be?

Nov. 2, 2007
North, Central and South America cited as potentially strong manufacturing centers.

At the CoreNet Global Summit that met in Atlanta last week, experts identified the up-and-coming cities that are expected to be the economic hubs of the future. In a session called, "Around the World in 90 Minutes," panelists picked dozens of cities in Asia, Europe and the Americas that offer a business climate making them ripe for development by growing companies.

When selecting European locations for manufacturing centers or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) offices, Ren Buck, President of Buck Consultants International, advises companies to look for three differentiators before
citing a new European facility; talent, technology and connectivity. Buck said emerging business centers like Glasgow/Edinburgh, Scotland and Istanbul, Turkey are among Europe's brightest future development stars. But he added that Sofia, Bulgaria is, "on the rise and will attract a lot of new companies."

Dennis J. Meseroll, director of Tractus Asia Ltd., a location consulting firm, said companies should look to second and third tier cities that he calls "sleepers," which include Chengdu, China, Orissa, India as well as Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi, Vietnam.

Despite the attractiveness of exotic new Asian and Eastern European markets, Dennis Donovan, principal of Wadley-Donovan-Gutshaw Consulting, said North, Central and South America, "continues to be very strong," for outsourced call centers and manufacturing centers. Donovan calls places ranging from Dickinson, North Dakota, to Hermosillo, Mexico to Santiago, Chile, among the hottest future investment hotspots in the Western Hemisphere.

Donovan told session attendees that, "Honduras is competitive with China on cost," and suggested companies look at locations like that for their relative political and currency stability, as well as a strong pool of bilingual workers.

CoreNet Global members manage U.S. $1.2 trillion in worldwide corporate assets consisting of owned and leased office, industrial and other space.

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