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Exploring the relationship between transparency, attractiveness factors, and the location of foreign companies: what matters most?

Abstract

Increasingly described in the literature and international reports as a key factor in business decisions, transparent economic policies have become central to investment and the establishment of foreign companies in a specific area. In this sense, a plethora of rankings consider transparency—almost always linked with stability—as one of the most important location factors, stressing the importance of a predictable environment and trust among all stakeholders. However, the lack of evidence calls for an empirical assessment of the relationship between transparency and economic attractiveness. This contribution addresses this issue through data collected from a survey targeting economic development agencies in Switzerland, data on the presence of companies in the country’s federated entities, and factors commonly used to assess cantonal attractiveness in the Swiss case. The findings indicate that transparency matters to all the economic developers surveyed, although more traditional factors of attractiveness are regarded as more essential. Among these, quality of the workforce is considered as the most important variable. This observation is reinforced by the empirical analysis conducted here, mostly based on tangible variables provided by the locational quality indicator from Credit Suisse.

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Correspondence to Vincent Mabillard.

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Mabillard, V., Vuignier, R. Exploring the relationship between transparency, attractiveness factors, and the location of foreign companies: what matters most?. Place Brand Public Dipl 17, 304–316 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41254-020-00171-6

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Keywords

  • Attractiveness
  • Transparency
  • Economic development
  • Place branding
  • Switzerland