April 12, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

fDi Magazine Ranks Huntsville Among Top Small Cities for Investment, Growth

huntsville.jpgHuntsville is a "City of the Future" and is No. 1 among small cities for foreign investment strategy, according to fDi Magazine.
(The Huntsville Times/Glenn Baeske)

HUNTSVILLE-- Huntsville has been recognized as one of the top small cities on the continent for investment and growth by a leading foreign investment publication.

fDi Magazine, a publication of London's Financial Times and a provider of foreign direct investment information, ranked Huntsville No. 1 for the best FDI strategy among small cities in the Americas and fourth on its list of the Top 10 Small Cities of the Future. The magazine classifies small cities as having a population of more than 100,000 but less than 250,000.

Courtney Fingar, the magazine's editor, is a graduate of the University of Alabama and was the keynote speaker at Tuesday's World Trade Day luncheon in Huntsville.

New York City ranks top in the magazine's inaugural "American Cities of the Future" rankings, followed by Chicago and Houston. The rankings focus on a mixture of data and expert opinion to rank cities which have the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion.

"We are excited to receive both of these rankings," said Charlie Kettle, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. "We put a lot of effort as a Chamber and as a community into international business and creating opportunities. And this recognition illustrates the diversity of our economy."

In the FDI Strategy rankings, the judges considered the number of staff dedicated to promoting and facilitating inward investment and systems/programs in place to train staff and measure performance, both individually and organization-wide; key initiatives implemented to attract more investment; information on high-growth sectors/sub-sectors which offer potential for inward investment; description of incentives available to inward investors; major infrastructure and urban planning projects; and the vision for achieving the location's full FDI potential and why it is a location of the future.

"The news that Huntsville is further recognized internationally now as a 'City of the Future,' is evidence that investors across the globe view Huntsville as a good investment," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. "I am excited for our citizens and our companies here who are working hard to keep Huntsville a center of excellence."

The chamber, which serves as the area's lead organization for economic development, was lauded for its international programs that include participation in many international business recruitment events such as the Farnborough Air Show in London and the Paris Air Show, as well as trips to Japan and others.

"These rankings validate the hard work of our community and the continued team approach led by the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County," said Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie.

Behind Huntsville were Dayton, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Santa Clarita, Calif.; Mobile; Norfolk, Va.; Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario; Cambridge, Ontario; and St. John's, Newfoundland.

Richmond was the top-ranked small city of the future, followed by Santa Clarita; Columbia, S.C.; Richmond Hill, Ontario; Huntsville; Ontario, Calif.; Norfolk; Jersey City, N.J.; Dayton; and Mobile.

An awards ceremony will be held June 29 in Washington, D.C., to honor the winners.

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