Top Investment Promotion Agency Award

IMG Saxony-Anhalt again internationally awarded for its investors’ service

“Best to Invest - Top Investment Promotion Agency Award" honours Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt as one of the best economic development agencies in Europe

For the second time in a row, Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt (IMG) leads the ranking of the European investment promotion agencies at the “Best to Invest - Top Investment Promotion Agency Award 2016“. Thus, IMG has been awarded as one of the best regional economic development agencies in Europe. The winners have been nominated by a 50-head international jury consisting inter alia of site consultants and corporate members of the board of the Global FDI Association.

Adam Jones-Kelley, president of Conway Data and Site Selection Magazine, personally presented the "Best to Invest - Top Investment Promotion Agency Award" to Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt.

“We are very delighted by this renewed commendation. Because it shows that the constant and sustainable work in the field of acquisition and support of foreign investors that the team of IMG is doing in cooperation with our partners in Saxony-Anhalt and the economy here yields long-term success. It has contributed to attract international investors to Saxony-Anhalt and therefore create important jobs”, said Dr. Carlhans Uhle, managing director of Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt.

As economic development agency of the German federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, IMG supports companies in every phase of the investment process from site selection to permitting assistance up to consulting on investment incentives. “The price will also help to expand the successful relations with our regional and international partners and will open the door to key decision-makers, which will bring more investments to Saxony-Anhalt also in the future”, Uhle says confidently.

“IMG’s expertise in supporting international investors and its professional and globally networked staff are well known and helped gain the nomination as well as the website which has become a clear and useful information tool within the investor communication thanks to its clear structure, the target group-specific and up-to-date data range,” said Adam Jones-Kelley on handing over the award.

Background: Best to Invest Award

The Best to Invest - Top Investment Promotion Agency Award was brought to life by Site Selection, a renowned economic development magazine with a 62-year tradition, published by Conway. As international award, the TOp Investment Promotion Agency Award has been inaugurated in 2015 following the Top Groups Award that has been honouring IPAs in the United States since 1999.

The Best to Invest - Top Investment Promotion Agency Award exists in the categories “Regional” and “National” all over the world. The prize emphasizes the quality of the investor service on the basis of the following criteria: the professional processing of investor enquiries, professional and multilingual employees, access options to user-friendly databases for industrial and commercial real estate, as well as to funding and incentive options, exact information regarding the time-related estimation of approval procedures and other processes in terms of the realisation of the investment, current investments in the region as references and testimonials, reputation regarding confidentiality and aftercare services following the  investment, as well as a well-structured and informative website as important tool within the investor communication.

Besides Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt, the Danish Copenhagen Capacity received the award in the category “Western Europe – Regional”. The IPAs from Ireland and Portugal were recognized as winners in the category “Western Europe – National”.


with Adam Jones-Kelley, president of Conway

For the second time in a row, Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt (IMG) has been awarded with the “Best to Invest Top Agency Award 2016“ as one of the best European regional economic development agencies in terms of FDI.

The prize is awarded by Site Selection magazine, which is published by Conway Data, Inc.

We talked to Adam Jones-Kelley, president of Conway, on the occasion of the award presentation.

read interview

What is the Top Investment Promotion Agency Award, as part of the Best to Invest Award?

The Best to Invest Awards were launched eight years ago. Site Selection has always done awards of this nature in the US and in Canada. But as our global footprint expanded, and with that our global readership, we realized we needed some similar awards. So with the Best to Invest Award, we do a couple of different rankings. One is the Global Best to Invest, which is done on total projects per country and on projects per capita per country. And we also do the Top Investment Promotion Agency Award, which is similar to the Top Groups Award, which we have done in the US for 17 years. The Top IPA Award recognizes the top investment promotion agencies both, on a national level and on a regional level that fit within the eight criteria.

How does the nomination process at the Top IPA Award take place?

There are more than ten thousand investment promotion agencies in the world. But of those ten thousand there are very few that are truly global in their operations and really responsive to western company’s needs. So we create a nominating list of 10 per category which is then voted on by global consultants within our network, our editors and the corporate board members of the Global FDI Association

What were the criteria on which the agencies were judged?

To get on our nomination list, the investment promotion agencies have to fulfill all of the criteria of the award:

  • Most professionally responsive to inquiries; 
  • Staff possessing the best knowledge and language diversity;
  • Offering access to user-friendly databases of sites and incentives (general and sector-specific); 
  • Readily available information on timing expectations of permitting and other processes;
  • Access to recent investors in the region who can vouch for the area and agency;
  • Best reputation for protecting investor confidentiality;
  • Reputation for after-care services;
  • IPA's Web site: easy to navigate, offer a wide breadth of data, and have the cleanest, most efficient design.

And it is the job of our chief analyst Max Bouchet to ensure that the agencies nominated will hold up. We want to make sure that all of the agencies that we have nominated stand up to any scrutiny. This means, when a third party investigates them, that at no time they could come back and say that there was any relationship there, that they were nominated for any reason other than their utterly profession and deserving of the recognition.

Who was in the jury?

In the jury, there were more than 50 people which participated in the nomination survey. We therefore identified global site selection consultants that we know have actual corporate projects. There are a lot of other companies that call themselves site selection consultants that really just work with IPAs, but not with companies. We know the ones that are best and that work with companies on their global expansion plans. Those are the ones which we asked to participate in the survey. The results of the voting were kept in secret, of course, so the IPAs don’t know which consultants voted for which agency in the end.

What characterizes the qualification of the jury in particular?

The consultants that we work with helped us over the last few years in the process. Consultants usually get hundreds of surveys a year. And they choose to participate in very few of them because most of them are incredible. You find a lot of organizations out there, particularly media organizations, who come up with awards like this based purely on driving revenue. The consultants that participate in our surveys refuse to participate in those kind of surveys, because that weakens their credibility. So the caliber of the consultants and the corporate executives that participate in this survey, as well as the fact that the Global FDI Association backs it and endorses it stands for its credibility. While this is a ranking initiated by Site Selection, it is a ranking that is supported and endorsed by an international association of global corporate real estate professionals and by some of the top site selection consultants in the world.

What is the purpose of this award?

The award recognizes the investment promotion agencies that are making a contribution to the region. In the end, the very best investment promotion agencies in the world help to create jobs for the citizens and help to improve the quality of life for the people that reside within their regions. The award does this recognition.

Which role does the award play for the IPA’s networking?

The award is also a great introduction to companies that might not be aware of you. It certainly, I think, increases that agencies’ awareness to the expanding company and the likelihood that that company will reach out to you. Companies look to magazines like Site Selection for advice on the industry sectors, on the region that they should target and the people that they should be working with. This helps to make their job easier. So when you have a company that is expanding into Europe, a magazine like Site Selection identifies for them the agencies that will be the most responsive to their needs.

About Adam Jones-Kelley

Adam Jones-Kelley has been working at Conway for 17 years, being its president for 4 years. Conway has published Site Selection Magazine for 62 years. It is the most awarded and one of the longest in business established economic development magazines in the world. Site Selection is distributed to corporate real estate executives. These decision makers decide on an average of 300 billion dollars of new projects every year. Site Selection magazine is distributed to readers in 91 countries. In addition to publishing Site Selection, Conway manages the Industrial Asset Management Council and the Global FDI Association, and organizes the WORLD FORUM for Foreign Direct Investment.

>      listen to interview