The inward investment promotion professionals from around the Baltic Sea Region gathered in Helsinki.
Over 100 participants from 15 different countries gathered together in IPA Forum 2014 held on 9-10 June in Helsinki, Finland. The forum focused on strengthening cooperation within the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) by sharing best practices, networking and creating synergies between participating organizations.
The conference provided insightful keynotes on the economic state of the Baltic Sea Region, and generated discussion about the possibilities for regional cooperation. Introduction of the latest State of the Region Report by Baltic Development Forum and the presentation of FDI trends in the region provided valuable input for further discussions on how to deal with a changing global economic environment in the field of investment attraction. Topics on megatrends and their implications to the work of IPAs, insights into corporate perspective on BSR as an investment location and lead generation and pipeline management, gave much food for thought.
IPA Forum’s second day provided an opportunity to deepen the discussions on what Baltic Sea Region as a whole has to offer and what collective activities could be done to enhance the competitiveness of the region. The forum participants discussed the issues within 5 thematic workshop tracks, namely:
- Attracting ICT investments in the new era of ICT
- Attracting Growth Capital investments
- The innovation game – competing for R&D investments
- What does success mean in investment promotion? – Measuring & reporting FDI, it’s impact and the contribution of IPAs
- Marketing as a tool in investment attraction
Workshops encouraged participants to identify and discuss areas of concrete collaboration possibilities, and laid the ground for many interesting ideas, such as establishing a standardized ways for measuring and tracking FDI results with the help of a jointly funded database, and organizing an annual IPA conference for continued cooperation and information sharing.
According to the feedback, over 70% considered networking and meeting colleagues already alone a strong reason to participate in the event. The overall positive feedback from the IPA Forum 2014 signals that a direction towards a more globally competitive Baltic Sea Region through cooperation and joined forces is a welcomed idea. Whether joining forces means a collective database, an annual industry event, common sales arguments or something entirely different, awaits for further discussions.
IPA Forum 2014 is a part of a project called ONE BSR, a partly EU-funded umbrella project for branding the Baltic Sea Region. The project aims to increase the global competitiveness of the region. For more information see www.onebsr.eu.