Global cities of the future 2018-19 logo

Hong Kong has taken the laurels in the FDI Strategy category of the Global Cities of the Future 2018/19 awards, thanks in the main to its StartmeupHK initiative. Belfast and New York come second and third, respectively.

Hong Kong has topped the ranking for FDI Strategy, impressing judges with its commitment to accelerating and empowering start-up companies.


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StartmeupHK, the worldwide initiative introduced in 2013, has gone from strength to strength. It staged events or roundtables in a host of global cities in 2018, including Toronto, Amsterdam, London and Singapore, showcasing the city’s offering for innovative start-up investors. The StartmeupHK Festival in 2018 welcomed more than 6000 participants and 195 speakers from 39 countries, while a dedicated website informs start-up communities on events and success stories and hosts resources and information useful to investors. 

In 2016, a dedicated fintech team was established to promote Hong Kong as a leading destination for investment in the sector and to facilitate investors with a one-stop-shop service. Since its inception, the team has assisted about 350 fintech companies and it sponsored more than 20 events across Europe, mainland China and the US in 2017. The city’s FinTech Week is the world’s first crossborder fintech event, hosted in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Editor's choice award

Belfast boost

Northern Irish regional capital Belfast ranks second for FDI Strategy, having offices in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The city council employs more than 100 people to promote Belfast as a leading destination for investment, tourism and study, and enjoys sister city networks with Boston, Nashville and Shenyang. As part of an agreement with the UK government, Belfast stands to benefit from a £1bn ($1.28bn) deal to develop infrastructure, boost innovation and improve employability. Since 2015, £100m of office space has been developed with a further £100m currently under construction.

A dedicated investment webpage was established early in 2018, with information on Belfast’s key strengths and development plans, as well as resources such as the Belfast Investment Guide and relevant facts and figures. Developers and those applying for planning permission can also access VU.City, a digital 3D model that gives interactive views of Belfast and can inform pre-planning application discussions.


Montréal’s vibrant and creative culture, its world-class universities, and exceptional quality of life make it one of North America’s best cities to live and work in. By strategically promoting these strengths, we were able to attract and retain an incredibly talented workforce and a record number of foreign direct investments, especially in high-tech, fast-growing industries

Montréal’s Mayor, Valérie Plante

New York’s cutting edge

New York ranks third for FDI Strategy, where more than 50 people employed at the New York City Economic Development Corporation promote the city and facilitate inward investment. A new department was created at the organisation in 2017, the Partnerships Team, which engages in outreach with growth industries and brings together relevant programmes at local, state and federal level which could encourage investment in the city. 

New York is at the cutting edge of industry, with various initiatives to promote innovative investment. LifeSci NYC is a 10-year, $500m initiative that aims to create a world-class hub for life sciences, while CyberNYC is a $30m investment to grow the cybersecurity ecosystem in the city. New York’s Digital Health Marketplace initiative has matched more than 900 growth-stage start-up companies and market-ready products with local hospitals and healthcare providers. 

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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