Looking to Attract FDI? Amazon’s Second HQ Requirement Gives Solid Clues On How

Dear reader,

Just few days back, Amazon floated its requirement for selecting site for its new HQ “HQ2”. Amazon expects to hire a massive 50,000 new full-time employees, each earning upward of $100,000, over the next 10/15 years. The overall capex is expected to exceed $5 billion!

Obviously, every state/province and cities in North America wants this deal as the economic impact of housing Amazon’s HQ2 in their location will be enormous. However, Amazon’s requirement immediately eliminates majority of cities from the running list, as there are only handful of cities that can actually meet Amazon’s core requirements in North America.       

For economic developers and investment promotion professionals, Amazon’s requirement for new HQ gives critical clues about what the next generation talents and enterprises are looking for. If cities are serious about being competitive in the long term and in attracting talents and FDI for growth, Amazon’s requirement should be used as a barometer. Last year, GE moved its office to Boston and mentioned “educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem”, "talent pool" and “transit oriented and pedestrian friendly environment” among others as the drivers for the move. 

When you analyze GE’s core reason to move to Boston and Amazon’s requirements for its new HQ, there are a lot of similarities. I wouldn’t be surprised if other fast moving and growing companies all over the world are “thinking along similar lines”. 

Amazon’s “must have” (core requirements) for new HQ location selection

1) High density population area -  size of > 1 million population within 30 miles of the site
2) International airport – within 45 minutes of the site
3) Proximity to major highways/roads – less than 2 miles
4) Mass transit – at site

Other Preferences

1) Highly educated labor force. Universities and community colleges in the area.
2) Time to operation – potential area/building to fit their needs or can timely adjust.
3) Diverse population, excellent institutions of higher education, business friendly environment
4) Quality of life – living, recreation, educational opportunities etc.
5) Transit options - including bike lanes and pedestrian access
6) Air-travel Logistic: Direct flights to Seattle, NYC, San Francisco/Bay Area and Washington D.C.
7) Focus on sustainability

Finally, below are some selective insights on global FDI movements during the month of August. Click on each insights below or jump to our portal (fdianalytics.com) where you can easily filter insights by location and/or industries. Have fun exploring. 



North & South America

Asia & Pacific

Europe & Middle East

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