Skip to main content

Report: Houston Among Top 20 Global Cities of the Future

Published Mar 25, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

main street corridor_0.jpg

Houston ranks among the top Global Cities of the Future, inching its way up four spots on the latest report from the group fDi Intelligence. 

Houston came in at No. 19 on 2021/22 fDi list, which ranks major global cities based on foreign direct investment. That’s up from No. 24 when the ranking was published in 2018/19. Houston was only one of two U.S. cities among the top 20 on the latest list, with New York ranking seventh. 

Last year, Houston ranked No. 3 on fDi’s Tier 2 list of cities with populations under 8 million, but the new report looks at all cities globally. 

Partnership Chief Economic Development Officer Susan Davenport said Houston’s elevated position on the list validates the region’s place as a magnet for foreign direct investment in the U.S. “Houston’s significant infrastructure—including our port and two commercial airports—along with our prime geographic location, large and diverse workforce and pro-business environment have long made us an attractive target for foreign investment and what we see is that attraction is only growing.” 

Today, 15 foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices in Houston and the region has 41 active foreign chambers of commerce as well as one of the nation's largest consular corps. In addition, more than 1,700 Houston companies report foreign ownership while roughly one-in-four residents in the region are foreign born, contributing to Houston's well-recognized diversity. 

To create a shortlist for fDi’s Global Cities of the Future 2021/22, the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times collected data using the online tools fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark. Data was then collected for a total of 129 locations under five categories: economic potential, business friendliness, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness and connectivity. 

fDi’s top 20 Global Cities of the Future: 

1. Singapore
2. London
3. Dubai
4. Amsterdam
5. Dublin
6. Hong Kong
7. New York
8. Shanghai
9. Paris
10. Tokyo
11. Beijing
12. Abu Dhabi
13. Bangalore
14. Munich
15. Wroclaw
16. Zurich
17. Toronto
18. Seoul
19. Houston
20. Warsaw

Learn more about international business in Houston and read the fDi report

Related News

Economic Development

Regions and Neighborhoods: Historic Town of Dayton Poised to See Growth with Opening of Grand Parkway

8/16/22
The recent completion of northeast segments of the Grand Parkway is spurring economic development in cities surrounding Houston. One of those cities is Dayton, located in southwest Liberty County just 30 miles east of downtown Houston. The historic small town is poised to accommodate growth overflowing from Harris County. By 2035, the population is expected to be 131,000 people in Liberty County. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a population of 91,628. Dayton offers people a slower-paced lifestyle and access to outdoor recreational activities. The Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge is a short drive from the city, offering hiking trails, kayaking, boating, fishing and more. Located along Highway 90 and accessible by road and rail, the opening of the Grand Parkway is a gamechanger for the rural area now more easily connected to the greater Houston region. The Partnership spoke with the Dayton Community Development Corporation to discuss what’s on the horizon. What are some unique characteristics that really set this area apart?   The community of Dayton is full of history and charm. Dayton offers the slower pace of a small community, with every amenity available nearby in the country’s fourth largest city, offering a quality of life not easily found in suburbia.  Describe the business community in Dayton. What are some of the most active industry areas?  Dayton has a strong manufacturing sector, but we are seeing growth in the retail sector as well. With the completion of 99 (Grand Parkway), several new developments coming to the area, and access to several major highways and rail services, Dayton is the prime site for both large and small industries.  What does the recent completion of the Grand Parkway mean for the Dayton area? The completion of the Grand Parkway means growth for Dayton! With drive times faster than ever to larger cities, Dayton is becoming a hotspot for development. Our residents and businesses now have easier access to any resource they need.   Are there any other exciting things on the horizon for Dayton?  We have some exciting things coming together in Dayton. We have several new restaurants, including a coffee shop, Wendy’s and Shipley’s along Hwy 90. With new developments, we also have several of our existing businesses expanding. McCoy’s Building Supply is expanding their store off SH 146 to include a distribution center, and Sumiden Wire is expanding their plant as well. We are also seeing an increase in residential developments. We currently have the Village of Westpointe subdivision off Hwy 90 and Waco St. and have several other large residential developments in the works off SH 321, SH 146, and FM 1960.  What attracts most businesses to relocate or expand in Dayton?  Dayton’s quality of life and accessibility set us apart. All roads (and railways) lead to Dayton. Four highways converge in Dayton: US Hwy 90, SH 146, SH 321, and FM 1960, and access is easier than ever with the completion of the Grand Parkway passing through the western portion of Dayton. Union Pacific has recently expanded its rail car capacity by adding 280 acres of storage space. With two major rail-served industrial parks adding over 1,300 acres of land for industrial growth, Dayton is firmly positioned as a logistics and transportation center, which means jobs and economic stability.  What are 4-5 signature spots to visit? Any hidden gems people need to know about?  Downtown Dayton comes alive at The Crossroads Plaza for lunchtime every Friday where a variety of food trucks gather. The Crossroads Plaza is also home to our monthly farmers market and other community events.  Take a #DaytripDayton and visit several murals in the heart of Dayton. We currently have 3 murals featuring the history of Dayton and the scenery of Texas wildflowers showcased in our downtown area.  Take a stroll around the Dayton Community Center grounds and visit the Love Locks Fence! This Paris tradition has made its way to Dayton, Texas. Bring a lock and a loved one to add your own little piece of history.  Visit our stars. Take a scenic drive around our small town to visit all 39 of our hand-painted stars. Whether it’s a large organization or an individual wanting to show support, our stars are spread throughout our community as a show of Dayton pride. What’s missing from the conversation about Dayton? While Dayton is still a small city, we are leaps and bounds from where we were just a few short years ago. With unprecedented growth coming into the area, we are seeing a boom in residential developments and commercial alike. With that, our community is still dedicated to fostering a small-town feel. We are excited about the growth coming our way and to see what the future holds for our community.     
Read More
Economic Development

Talent Developers Have New Pipeline to Employers

7/25/22
Talent developers across greater Houston have a new tool to help them directly connect clients without bachelor’s degrees to employers specifically seeking to hire them. The tool, Stellarworx, is a robust talent marketplace designed exclusively for jobseekers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) – those other than a bachelor’s degree. Stellarworx is now available to help the Houston region’s 1.6 million STARs jobseekers join candidate pools for good jobs through a new collaboration between the nonprofit social enterprise organization Opportunity@Work, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, and the Partnership through its UpSkill Houston initiative. “We know that talent developers can struggle to identify players who are actively hiring STARs and spend months build relationships with employers and compete for a limited number of jobs available for STARs,” said Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels in a recent meeting hosted by UpSkill Houston. “The employers on Stellarworx have chosen to come to us because they want to embrace skills-based hiring and they want to hire STARs, and they recognize the diverse skills and perspectives that STARs bring to the table.” STARs account for about 70 million workers nationwide (60 percent of the American workforce) and cut across all demographics and people groups, according to Opportunity@Work. They have developed skills employers seek and value through avenues including community college, military service, and on-the-job training, but are often screened out of talent searches because they do not hold a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to degree requirements used as proxies for skills – or what is called “the paper ceiling” – these workers only have access to about 26 percent of all new jobs created. The paper ceiling has long-lasting effects on workers’ earning power, as it takes a STAR 30 years to reach the wages of a recent college graduate.  Stellarworx is helping change this by providing talent developers an easier way to have their clients recognized by employers hiring for good jobs with good pay and opportunities for career advancement. All jobs posted on Stellarworx come with a minimum wage of $20 per hour, and they all must lead to a career pathway. The talent marketplace: Uses skills-based matching to identify employers and jobs best suited to enrolled STARs. Offers talent developers a one-stop-shop to aggregate labor market supply and demand information. Supports a healthy feedback loop between talent developers and employers to drive better client outcomes long term. Provides talent developers data and insights to track their clients’ career searches. The Stellarworx talent marketplace was launched in late 2020 is currently operating in three U.S. cities (and counting). More than 110 employers utilize the platform to find talent from its 2,100 talented STAR users. Opportunity@Work, which developed the platform, works to rewire the labor market open pathways for STARs to work, learn, and earn to their full potential.  “If they have the skills to do the job, they should be able to get the job,”  the organization’s Bridgette Gray said. Talent developers who are interested in learning more can contact Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels directly at nicole@opportunityatwork.org.   Related: Recognizing Workforce STARs a Competitive Advantage The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative works to strengthen the talent pipeline employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians build relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn more.
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

Business Beyond Borders

Join us at the Partnership's Business Beyond Borders on Tuesday, September 14, 2022.  This Business Resource Group is designed for people doing business internationally.…

Learn More
Learn More