This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Friday 2 June 2023, 12.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Location: In-person and online
    NEOMA Business School, Paris Campus
  • Audience: Open to staff, students (postgraduate researchers only) and practitioners/policy/business leaders.
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Bridging Policy and Research on FDI and Cities: Sustainability, Chinese Investment and the latest thinking on Mobility


Please join us for the third in our series of FDI and Cities forums, this time taking place in Paris on 2nd June. The forum is co-hosted by the School for Business and Society, University of York, NEOMA Business School, and the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS). The event will take place at NEOMA’s Paris Campus. 

We will hear some of the latest thinking in both policy and research domains in three panels: 

  • Sustainability, FDI and Cities
  • Chinese FDI and Cities
  • Mobility, FDI and Cities

We are delighted to have Alexandre de Crombrugghe from the OECD in Paris as a keynote speaker, as well as an opportunity to discuss the three panel themes from both academic and policy perspectives. The forum will be of interest to researchers, academics, practitioners, and policy makers working on foreign investment into cities in an era where sustainability, China’s emergence as a global investor in cities, and city mobility are increasingly put under the spotlight.




Speakers and talks

Keynote Speech

Alexandre de Crombrugghe, Economist & Manager, OECD

'Making international investment work for sustainable and regional development'


  • Dr Simone Sandholz, Head of Urban Futures & Sustainability Transformation Programme, United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

'Urban sustainability transformation for whom, why and how?' 


  • Phil Henry, Built Environment Development Director at Genuit Group

'The challenges of installing cloud connected blue and green infrastructure to existing assets in order to manage increase rainfall events and promote biodiversity in cities'


  • Dr Filip De Beule, Associate Professor of International Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven

'Location decisions of Chinese MNCs during the internalisation process'


  • Dr Haiyan Zhang, Associate Professor, NEOMA Business School

'Location decisions of Chinese MNCs during the internalisation process'


  • Alex Irwin-Hunt, Global Markets Editor, host of Rising Ecosystems Podcast, fDi Intelligence 

'China's investment influence in the worlds' cities'


  • Dr Davide Castellani, Professor of International Business and Strategy, Henley Business School, University of Reading

'Getting there and around. The role of global and urban connectivity in the MNEs' location choices'


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

'The current revolution of the automotive industry and its impact on location choice'


Booking information

Please complete the above booking form if you would like to attend the event. 

Join the Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 890 2122 5475; Passcode: 587084

Time: 13.30-18.30 CEST / 12.30-17.30 BST 


About the speakers

Alexandre de Crombrugghe

Alexandre de Crombrugghe joined the OECD in 2012, where he leads and coordinates the work on investment promotion and facilitation in the Investment Division. He manages the OECD Investment Promotion Agency Network and is the author of a number of research pieces on investment promotion and facilitation. Alex is also the lead author of Investment Policy Reviews in Southeast Asia and Africa, supports multilateral dialogue and manages capacity building programmes. Prior to the OECD, Alex worked with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Geneva) and in development NGOs in Belgium and West Africa. He holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University College London and a BA in Business Management from the Catholic University of Louvain.


Dr Simone Sandholz

Simone Sandholz leads urban research at the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). Her focus is on urban and regional development and systemic transformation towards sustainability. She holds a PhD in Geography, a Master’s degree in natural resources management and a Diploma in architecture and urban planning. Among others she currently manages an initiative on Transformative Urban Coalitions under the International Climate Initiative, linking social justice to risk reduction, climate adaptation and mitigation. As co-lead of the IUCN-CEM thematic group on eco-disaster risk reduction another focus is on urban nature-based and hybrid solutions. Before joining UNU-EHS, Simone was assistant professor at the Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck (Austria) and scientific coordinator of the Center for Natural Resources and Development, a global network of higher education institutions.


Phil Henry

Engineer with over 45 years, experience within in the UK construction and manufacturing sector and a track record of collaborating and providing sustainable water solutions for tall buildings, MEP solutions for Off-site manufacturing and sustainable water and green infrastructure solutions within the built environment.

A strategic interest in Net Zero and the strategies influencing development, design, delivery decisions and outcomes through sustainable investment.

Phil is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and actively represents Genuit Group at a senior level on several industry bodies including, Constructing Excellence and The Housing Forum management boards, BSRIA Council, The Institution of Engineering and Technology Built Environment Panel, CIBSE Resilient Cities Group and a member of Chapter Zero UK.


Dr Filip De Beule

Filip De Beule is associate professor of International Business at the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven. He is senior member of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, and board member of KU Leuven Centre for Russian Studies and the Flanders Business School. He was academic secretary of the Western European Chapter of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and board member of the European International Business Academy (EIBA) for ten years where he served as national representative for Belgium. 

His research centers around internationalization, international entrepreneurship, innovation, and companies from emerging economies, focusing on China, India and Brazil. He was research fellow of the China Europe Management Centre and Erasmus Mundus scholar at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. He has won several AIB and EIBA best paper awards and published in the main international business journals including Journal of World Business, International Business Review, Journal of International Management, and Management International Review. He has edited several books on globalization, innovation, and multinationals. 


Dr Haiyan Zhang

Dr Haiyan Zhang is Associate Professor at NEOMA Business School. He holds a MA and a PhD in Public Administration and Management from the University of Antwerp. His teaching area covers strategic management, international business, Asian economic & business environment, emerging markets and emerging market based multinational enterprises. His research interests include International business activities of Chinese and Overseas Chinese owned enterprises, management issues of international joint ventures in transition economies, high-tech Industrial agglomeration in China, Chinese outward FDI in Europe, EU-China FDI relations, etc. He has published in journals such as the Management International Review. He has consulted for trade associations, government institutions and multinational companies on various topics.


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 Davide Castellani

Davide is a Professor of International Business and Strategy at the Henley Business School, University of Reading (UK) and a part-time professor of Applied Economics at the University of Perugia (Italy). He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Ancona (Italy) and a MSc in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). His research focuses on the determinants of firms’ exporting and foreign direct investment decisions and their effects on innovation and economic performance. Davide is among the top 5% most cited economists worldwide, according to the RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) network, and his research has been published in top-ranked international journals. Over the past two decades, Davide has been involved in several research projects funded by national and international bodies and acted as an advisor to HM UK Government on the Investment Strategy, European Commission, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (UK) and London Economics (UK). Davide is currently a member of the High-Level Group on Trade Policy Innovation advising the EU Council on trade policy matter, of the Advisory Group of the Observatory on Foreign Firms held by the Confederation of Italian Business (Confindustria) and LUISS, and of the Advisory Group the Attracting International Investment in R&D, providing expert input and guidance to the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB). Since 2021 Davide is the Chair of the Academy of International Business UK and Ireland Chapter.


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).



Professor Christopher Williams