In a complex and more uncertain world, companies are taking a more strategic approach to optimizing their international operations. Companies are critically assessing current operations while trying to identify the next opportunities for growth, talent access or cost efficiencies. This leads to a reconfiguration of corporate architectures that seeks to better leverage the world’s opportunities for operational excellence and transforms companies into globally integrated enterprises.
In particular, companies are taking a more cautious approach to investment, reducing their larger and riskier investments – projects that are typically destined for emerging economies – while continuing to seek new market opportunities with smaller investments across mature and emerging markets. The adapted approach to international investment has significant implications for how investment is distributed across the world.
Accordingly, 2011 saw a considerable widening of investment among emerging economies, with significant declines among traditional “hot-spots” while a number of new contenders for investment experienced significant increases. Moreover, despite their ongoing fiscal problems, many mature economies experienced considerable increases in inward investment, as they benefitted from market driven investment.
In a world where competences and talent are increasingly key to the competitive advantage of both companies and locations, both private and public sector actors need to take a more strategic approach to talent development and management. For locations, it means that education and training efforts need to be aligned with wider economic development efforts, ensuring that the skills are available at the right time to companies in priority sectors and industries.
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