Sustainable Location Development: How Do Investment Promotion Agencies Go About Attracting Sustainable Foreign Direct Investment?

  • Andreas BreinbauerEmail author
  • Johannes Leitner
  • Katharina Becker


Both emerging and OECD markets are constantly making efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Over the past few decades, investment promotion has steadily become more professionalized. This chapter identifies best practice by the investment promotion agencies, which that integrate sustainability most effectively into their FDI promotion policies. The environment for investment promotion agencies is currently undergoing rapid changes, which are giving rise to new business models and practices. At present, the latest generation of IPAs can only be found sporadically around the world: These fourth-phase IPAs take sustainability criteria into account more or less explicitly in their investment promotion activities. Such sustainability criteria relate to economic, social, and environmental factors.

Sweden is one of only a few countries worldwide where investment policies are actually based on strategic requirements set out in a national action plan for businesses and human rights. In line with this action plan, the Swedish IPA also implements a strategy of excluding potential projects that do not fulfil the requirements relating to human rights.

The Austrian IPA, the Austrian Business Agency, does not focus explicitly on sustainability targets, as this is currently not part of its mandate. As with all other regional investment promotion agencies, its primary goal is to maximize the level of investment.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Breinbauer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johannes Leitner
    • 1
  • Katharina Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences BFI ViennaViennaAustria

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