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AI in FDI | Economic Development To Shift From Promotion To Consultancy

Fantastic interview with Chris Camacho, CEO of Phoenix's GPEC, discusses how AI is disrupting investment attraction, By Seth O Farrell, FDI Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is “massively disruptive” for the economic development industry, argues Chris Camacho, CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), as sales pitches give way to a data-driven dialogue with investors.

“AI is going to enable an organisation like ours to be consultative advisors. That’s the big shift I see. It’s no longer promotions and sales; it’s about becoming a consultative advisor like a Deloitte or McKinsey,” he says in an interview with fDi Intelligence. “I think it’s massively disruptive for our industry.”

With a greater access to information, AI technology allows economic development organisations to predict which companies are looking to expand and where, according to Mr Camacho. By the same token, it also enables them to look inwardly, and better understand their own strengths and weaknesses so as to advise prospective companies.

From ‘blind selling’ to consultative advisors

“The most significant thing we’re working on is a risk monitor,” he says, which uses a consultancy template to understand the variables companies look at when investing in advanced industries such as semiconductors or data centers. These variables include natural disaster indices, climate patterns, water quality, and soil quality. Mr Camacho expects the risk monitor to be built by the first quarter of next year.


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