This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Friday 24 February 2023, 9am to 12.30pm
  • Location: In-person and online
    CL/A/057 - Lecture Room, Church Lane Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to business and policy practitioners. This is not an academic research event.
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Showcasing Cities for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
in the Modern Era



This forum – hosted by the School for Business and Society at the University of York – brings together leading experts and commentators on foreign direct investment (FDI) at city level.

Understanding FDI at city level is highly relevant both for policy makers and investment agencies in cities, as well as academics in international business who see this phenomenon as a relatively under-explored topic compared to FDI at national level.

The forum will allow latest thinking in this space to be presented and discussed. Talks will cover the corporate perspective and what corporate decision makers look out for, the importance of human brilliance and a joined-up narrative to entice investors, techniques and approaches used in successful and less-successful cases around the world, the role of Industry 4.0, and changing patterns in the UK post Brexit and COVID.


Speakers and talks

Dr Martin G. Kaspar, Head of Corporate Development, Fränkische Industrial Pipes

'Reasons for choosing a location - a corporate perspective'


Harriet Fear MBE, Director of Cambridge&

'What makes a world class innovation ecosystem special'


Alex Irwin-Hunt, Global Markets Editor, fDi Intelligence (FT Specialist)

'How cities can stand out to companies and talent in a crowded field'


Dr Douglas van den Berghe, CEO NxtZones

'FDI 4.0 and the potential for cities'


Fernando M. Gutierrez, Head of Trade and Investments, Moody's Analytics

'The UK's Foreign Investment Position Post Brexit and Covid'


Booking information

Please complete the above booking form if you would like to attend the event. Please note this form only needs completing if you are attending the event in person. If you are attending the event via Zoom, you do not need to complete the booking form. 

Join the Zoom meeting


About the speakers

Dr Martin G. Kaspar

Fränkische Group – Head of Corporate Development (2009 -), Head of Operation of UK subsidiary (2002 – 2009); Formerly Heraklith AG, Wacker-Chemie AG; Durham University (Hatfield College), Oxford Brookes; Columnist fdi Intelligence (FT Group); regular contributor to Investment Monitor (New Statesman), UNIDO-IAP and other publications; Member of the Commentary Group on Investment Facilitation; judge at BayStart-up; visiting lecturer University of Applied Science Würzburg Schweinfurt (formerly Technical University Chemnitz).


Harriet Fear MBE


Harriet was a Diplomat for over 20 years. She served in over 17 countries, in various roles including Deputy Ambassador 3 times, Head of Press and Public Affairs and Head of Commercial Services. Half her diplomatic career was spent in the commercial field. For 5 years she was the Head of the national Life Sciences and Healthcare Trade Team for UK Trade & Investment. Harriet was Chief Executive of One Nucleus from 2009 to 2017, which became the largest life science and healthcare membership body in Europe under her leadership. She served for 5 years as the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences. She has worked at the heart of the Cambridge business ecosystem for 20 years.

Harriet was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016 for her services to Healthcare and Life Sciences. She is currently the Director of Cambridge&, the inward investment service showcasing Greater Cambridge’s innovation to the world. She is also Chair of Cambridge Ahead and Founder and Director of HFA Ltd.

Alex Irwin-Hunt

Alex Irwin-Hunt is a journalist at fDi Intelligence, a specialist publication at the Financial Times focused on foreign direct investment and economic development. He covers the latest FDI trends, writing articles about themes shaping investment decisions across industries, interviewing public and private sector leaders and helping to produce global rankings of investment destinations. He has covered FDI stories in markets around the world and written special reports about locations in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. He has written extensively on innovation ecosystems, the international expansion of technology companies and produced fDi's first Start-up Attraction Index and Venture Capital-powered FDI ranking.

Dr Douglas van den Berghe

Douglas van den Berghe (PhD) is a global speaker and expert on FDI, SEZs, corporate international strategy and innovation. He is the CEO of NxtZones: a global integrated network of economic zones and industrial parks converged around sustainability and the SDGs and operating in key Industry 4.0 sectors.

He was the founder and CEO of a FDI advisory firm (and two technology ventures which were all acquired over the past couple of years.  As a management consultant, he has assisted many corporate clients in successfully implementing their global investment strategies and he has been an advisor to many governments in successfully developing FDI policies for economic development increasing the competitiveness of countries and cities.

Fernando M. Gutierrez

Fernando Gutierrez is the Industry Practice Lead for the ‘Trade and Investments’ segments within Moody’s Analytics. Fernando has been working in the field of foreign direct investment and advising governments for over 15 years. He is an expert in analysing and interpreting FDI trends worldwide, and on how to market and promote a location globally. Additionally, Fernando has worked with locations all over the world on a variety of lead generation and strategy projects.

Fernando has worked with trade and investment organisations worldwide in all aspects of foreign direct investment including: lead generation, event organisation, and best practice in investment promotion. Fernando has extensive experience working in global markets including Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Africa and Middle East.

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop