Richardson wins prestigious foreign direct investment strategy award

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April 21, 2015
fDi Magazine’s “American Cities of the Future” award honors Richardson for its strategy to become a desirable destination for international business

The City of Richardson recently won the “Small Cities for FDI Strategy” award, in fDi Magazine’s bi-annual “American Cities of the Future” list. This list evaluates cities across the Americas for their attractiveness for inbound foreign direct investment (FDI).
“We are proud to be recognized for our strategy to identify investors from around the world who have similar industries to those of Richardson, and for our partnerships with foreign local entities that are aware of companies which want or need to globalize to maximize their business opportunities,” said Michael Skelton, vice president for international business development for the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP), and director of the Mayor’s Office of International Business.
“This award emphasizes Richardson’s attractiveness for foreign business activity, both in technology and in other industries,” Skelton added. “We share this recognition with the many community leaders whose continued efforts have contributed to this well-earned distinction.”
To create a shortlist for fDi’s American Cities of the Future 2015-16, the fDi Intelligence division of Financial Times collected data using online tools fDi Markets and fDiBenchmark. In total, the study analyzed 421 locations across North, Central and South America collecting data in five categories:
  • Economic potential
  • Business friendliness
  • Human capital and lifestyle
  • Cost effectiveness, and
  • Connectivity
In addition, the study collected surveys to analyze a sixth category, FDI Strategy. This category was the only qualitative category and did not feed into the overall result. For this category there were 105 submissions.
“People make the difference. The leadership of City of Richardson and Chamber of Commerce have been working closely through REDP to develop strategies and measurements for promoting the international business,” said Charlie Chen, board chairman of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce. “With Mike Skelton’s dedication and effort, today we have the most proactive international business program in the region. It is no surprise that fDi would recognize our efforts. Serving as the RCC’s Chairman of Board with an international background is an excellent example of Richardson’s inclusiveness and confidence in facing the rapid global business development.”
Richardson was also recognized in 2013 by fDi Magazine’s, “American Cities of the Future” list, ranking third overall in the Americas in its size category, the “micro city” classification, population 100,000 or less. In addition to this high overall ranking, Richardson also finished in the top 10 among micro cities in four related FDI subcategories: fifth for Human Resources, ninth in Economic Potential, ninth in FDI Strategy and 10th in Infrastructure.
In 2011, the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce approved the formation of the Mayor’s Office of International Business. The City of Richardson has been outsourcing domestic-focused economic development to the Richardson Chamber of Commerce for 30 years, but wanted to expand its foreign direct investment (FDI) into the city by leveraging its position in North Texas as an international destination for foreign technology companies.
This started with the development of the Telecom Corridor® Area and extended to other high-tech industries. Currently, Richardson has U.S. headquarters or regional offices of more than 50 foreign-based companies. This heavy concentration of foreign-based companies prompted the Texas Legislature to proclaim Richardson as The International Business Capital of North Texas in May 2011.