Investment promotion will get “harder” as a result of more adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), says Pilar Madrigal, the director of investment advisory at Cinde, Costa Rica’s investment promotion agency (IPA), as competition and the demand for new skills increase. By Seth O Farrell, FDI Intelligence
In a context where companies will have more access to data about specific locations, Ms Madrigal argues that the future trajectory of investment promotion can be boiled down to the following maxim: “The race gets faster.”
“It's going to be harder for all of us to compete [...] All of us need to act quicker, more effectively and we’re not 100% prepared just yet,” she adds.
Cinde has been using AI in a trial programme for the past five years chiefly to access predictive analysis and thus determine where investors are looking to invest. It uses a model with more than 150 data points and tracks more than 800,000 companies around the world.
“We’re simply using AI to profile a company,” she says but, for the time being, will retain more traditional methods of finding leads. “The human element is still there,” she adds, referring to the negotiation process that follows lead generation.
Regarding the thorny question of how automation will affect the team dynamic, Ms Madrigal insists that it will have an impact on how an IPA is run.
However, far from demanding more IT skills, it will lead to a need for more negotiating skills.