The above table will
link to more detailed summaries, with approval by the executives involved,
specific cases of projects which have been supported by GDI Solutions
or participants in our work, such as economic development organizations or
professional service providers who supported the project with or without our
See the Project Profile template.
As the list of projects grows, it will be divided into regions as in other
sections of this website so that it is more convenient for quick reference.
Keep in mind that this is a selective list of major recent projects - not a
comprehensive list of all projects. Older projects may be similarly
profiled in the Testimonials section.
Project Profiles as well as
Testimonials will be linked to
GUIDE Area Profiles, when available, and
to regional company lists. They will
also be highlighted through the regional tables
of contacts, in the column for the
Report, so that executives and their advisors can see at a glance when
major Project Profiles or Testimonials are available for an area.
These listings are intended to be helpful to
the executives and active participants or contacts of GDI Solutions who may
be unfamiliar with such global direct investment projects (often referred to
as foreign direct investment - or FDI - but excluding portfolio investments
such as share purchases), and may benefit from knowledge shared
openly through this process, including investor feedback about "lessons
learned" and "proven solutions"
during the planning process in the context of specific investment needs.
of potential interest
The table above, or the related Project Profiles when
available, may also link to further information about the service providers
involved, as found in the section on "Participants"
and as provided through the regional tables of
contacts among area representatives and other sources of project
The table may link to further details published elsewhere about services
provided for such projects, or about the decision process and outcome.
For example, such details may sometimes be found on the company or
development agency websites, or through published news accounts or press
There are also
perform project tracking and research or reporting work, sometimes for
internal reference (consultants) rather than open publication. Typically
details are only provided to clients, such as their research subscribers.
There are literally thousands of projects each year. We do not track
Some of the development magazines include
major projects, or highlight them as they are announced, or when
describing specific areas.
Refer also to the "The Market" section, which will
selectively summarize published announcements of major projects whether or not GDI
Solutions was involved, just to make it easier to find such publicly
available information about projects which are deemed to be of special interest to participants. The "Biography"
section may also identify relevant project experience among participants in
Lies, half-truths, omissions, and
statistics about projects
When projects are
announced, there are really no standards for how they are reported.
For example, one project may report the estimated capital investment and job
creation for the next 2 years, while another may estimate the value of
expected future expansions over 5 or even more years. Some companies
may also announce very optimistic plans, without actually entering into any
firm commitments to grow as indicated, while other firms are far more
In either case, after the initial project announcement is
made, any subsequent expansion announcements are often promoted as if they
were something new, even if the jobs and capital involved were already
estimated in the original announcement. The result is potential double
counting of such statistics, which may already be inconsistent data as
The same thing can happen with statistics about the
facility size. The initial announcement may report plans for a 200,000
sq ft factory, but perhaps the project starts with 80,000 sq ft now, with
expected future expansion within a few years. Then, when they build
out to the expected scale, each such expansion looks like a new investment,
which it really is, even though it is essentially being double counted
because the original scale of investment was overstated while trying to
highlight the full expected impact of the project over many years. In
other words, both announcements are perfectly true, but can be misleading.
In this example, one might wind up thinking that the company has built out
to 320,000 sq ft., when it is still just the originally intended 200,000 sq
Even if economic development officials for a region,
state, or country genuinely want to present reliable information about their
projects, the reality is that each company makes its own decision about what
to announce, and it can be very difficult to develop consistent and reliable
data from inconsistent sources.
Aggregate statistics about the number of projects "won" by
a state or region, which may sometimes include "retention" of existing
investors rather than just the actual expansions or new projects, can also
be misleading even when accurate. Since there are no real standards
about what is counted, or how the figures are compiled (such as to avoid
double counting or inflated estimates), one should generally view such
market analyses with great skepticism.
Meaningful analysis of actual investment trends requires
more knowledge than comes by compiling data from inconsistent press releases
and media reports of project announcements, particularly because projects
may not actually develop as originally estimated. For example,
consider the late 1990's dot-bomb boom, when many reportedly large projects
fizzled out or soon disappeared completely.
In this regard, note that areas rarely report their job or
investment losses as thoroughly as their expansions or new projects, if they
report them at all. Thus, an area may report 5000 new jobs from
investment projects during the year, but neglect to mention that 10,000
other people lost their jobs. Net investment or job creation is rarely
reported publicly, even if it is tracked by an organization for internal
reference. Some areas will only track and report industrial projects
or office projects, while other areas will report retail stores, hospitals,
government offices, and everything else. Reliable comparisons are
We list the information which is readily available about
announced projects, or ones we have profiled in more detail. Since
this is a selective list, it is not intended to be the basis for market
analysis such as industry or area investment trends. It is simply
intended to be useful background information for executives and their
advisors who might not easily find such project details when needed.
Incentives - also not
necessarily what they seem to be
are announced, there is often some mention of the estimated total value of
any incentives offered to help attract the investment. These figures
are not meaningless, but meaningful comparisons can be quite difficult.
For example, one deal may involve cash grants.
Another may involve tax abatements, whose value is estimated over a number
of years, which may not be the same period of time even when comparing
similar tax deals. Tax credits may vary significantly in value
according to actual company performance. The amount reported is rarely
the present "time value" of the money involved, so benefits which are in
distant years, and may never even materialize as forecast, may be included
to inflate the apparent value of the reported package.
In some cases, the reported incentives may include site
improvements, such as to add basic infrastructure which would already have
been in place elsewhere. They may also include other investments which
don't actually go to the company at all, such as funding for local
recruitment and training support programs which the company is expected to
use, or even such things as the addition of better road or rail access for
which the company won't be the only beneficiary.
Although local area representatives can provide very
helpful background about many available incentive programs in their areas,
they may not really understand how the local packages compare with other
locations, whether or not they are an actual party to the incentive
negotiation process (i.e., a direct source of such benefits). Local
economic development representatives may be influential in such negotiations
to help "win" a project for their area, but independent professional help is
Bottom line - this is an area in which it pays to
talk to professional
location consultants who have direct experience with such
negotiations, and can sort out what is reliable and valuable soon from what
is dubious or long-term. In the case of markets such as Europe, it is
particularly important to get professional help, because the deal which is
negotiated locally in good faith can be reversed by the European Union
during the review process - even after the company has made the investment
commitments and perhaps even set up operation already in reliance upon what
appeared to be a properly negotiated and approved package.
Keep in mind that competitors can also file a complaint
about such incentives which, even if the package is upheld as appropriate,
can become a costly distraction at a critical time for the development of