Développement régional, urbain et rural

Regions in globalisation











Rethinking regional attractiveness strategies for inclusive and sustainable development

How can we achieve inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development, while positively impacting the well-being of people and the places they live? This is why the OECD is supporting regions to understand their position in globalisation, as well as the policy levers and tools available to improve their attractiveness to international target groups.


Adopting an innovative and comprehensive methodology, we encourage regions to rethink their approach to territorial development in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.We focus on understanding regions’ international characteristics, identifying existing and new drivers of regional attractiveness, and understanding the regional needs and assets necessary to thrive in the new global environment.


Based on an extensive analysis of strategic dimensions – reflecting both international connections and attractiveness – we provide regions with tailored policy recommendations to enhance their attractiveness to international investors, talent, visitors, and leverage evolving GVCs and reshoring opportunities. We also identify innovative governance and coordination mechanisms to support their implementation.


A selection of tools are provided to improve the visibility of participating regions, including: case-study ‘highlights’, webinars to share experiences and good practices, exposure in OECD publications and websites, and access to a growing network of regions.


Download the brochure (PDF)



 Growing network of regions helps us understand the international characteristics of territories

The OECD has drawn together 25 regions from 10 countries to better understand their international profiles and rethink approaches to regional attractiveness in the new global environment, with more to follow.


Contact us to join the programme


Regions need to fully understand the challenges emerging from or reinforced by the pandemic

The focus of this project has never been more relevant after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the most severe recession in nearly a century.


Regions are facing a new economic and sanitary environment prompting a rethink of participation in globalisation, as well as their relative attractiveness to investors, talent and visitors. In response, regions need to fully understand the structural challenges emerging or reinforced by the pandemic and how their international profiles may have changed, while maintaining a focus on providing benefits to local residents and businesses, and preserving environmental resources.


The pandemic is also accelerating and reshaping existing megatrends and deepening their impact across different territories. The indicators below highlight both the asymmetric impact of the crisis within and between countries, and megatrends that could further amplify existing regional inequalities.



Statistical and policy analysis with case studies are at the heart of the project

To help regions rethink their attractiveness strategies, the OECD seeks to determine their position in the new global environment before and after the pandemic (taking into account the impacts of megatrends such as climate change, digitalisation and demographic change).

We support national and regional governments to develop and implement policies that enhance inclusive, sustainable and regional attractiveness. This is achieved by:


  • Providing statistical analysis based on a quantitative assessment of regional attractiveness in selected OECD member and partner countries. Providing unique evidence on existing and emerging drivers of regional attractiveness, and internationalisation factors (e.g. exploring the link between well-being and attractiveness, social inclusion and economic resilience, local talent and foreign-born people, etc).
  • Supporting regions to design policies that enhance regional attractiveness to investors, talent and visitors, while increasing well-being of residents- by building on the experience of OECD and non-OECD peers at national, regional and local level. Supporting the implementation of such policies through improved coordination between public actors across levels and with private stakeholders.
  • Developing case studies that enable regions to utilise globalisation as an asset for regional development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Focussing on specific territories in terms of industrial or services clusters, urban-rural linkages, and those displaying strong challenges and opportunities in a period of transition due to demographic, environmental and technological changes.


An orginal methodological framework 

For this Project, the OECD has designed an original methodological framework, bringing together four categories of international connections. This approach allows us to assess the international profile of regions, thus going beyond the criteria of economic exchanges alone:


  • Human connections consist of foreigners who travel to or settle in a territory, in particular migrants and visitors
  • Knowledge connections refer to different dimensions of innovation (foreign researchers, international patent collaborations, etc.) and cultural links;
  • Business connections, or commercial and financial exchanges, consisting of imports, exports and foreign direct investments.
  • Infrastructure connections, or the physical connections that a region offers to its potential international partners: roads, airports, ports, rails, broadband internet and logistics


This approach allows us to assess a region’s international profile and attractiveness based on an in-depth analysis of key dimensions, and thus going beyond the criteria of economic exchanges alone.

Rethinking Regional Attractiveness, graphic for webpage
Rethinking Regional Attractiveness graphic for webpage

In addition to economic indicators, the project considers a range of indicators associated with well-being, inclusiveness, and environmental sustainability, all of which are necessary to make regions attractive (to investors, talent and visitors) and resilient in the long-term.


50 + indicators are utilised, covering 14 dimensions of attractiveness, across six domains:


  • Economic attractiveness: e.g. Innovation & entrepreneurship, SMEs, and the Labour market
  • Connectedness: e.g. Transportation, Logistics and Digitalisation
  • Visitor appeal: e.g. Tourism and Cultural capital
  • Natural environment: e.g. Environment and Natural capital
  • Resident well-being: e.g. Health, Education, and Social cohesion
  • Land and housing


Internationalisation and attractiveness strategies of French regions

L’internationalisation et l’attractivité des régions françaises 

This book shows how internationalisation and attractiveness policies are the result of action taken by a wide range of stakeholders (at different levels of the government and in different sectors). The report offers innovative solutions and tools to improve the implementation of regional internationalisation and attractiveness strategies at multiple levels in France.

More about the report (guidelines and case studies)


Read the report


Download the toolkit (PDF)


(Note: full report only in French)


Regions and globalisation

An original approach to regional internationalisation and its application to the case of France

The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that local authorities are on the front line when it comes to dealing with the various effects of globalisation. In France, as in OECD countries in general, responsibility for producing and implementing strategies that combine economic development, innovation and internationalisation falls to the regional level. This summary document covers the main lessons learned from OECD policy analysis and statistical work carried out on French regions’ internationalisation. It proposes an original methodology for assessing the position of regions in globalisation and applies this to France, comparing statistical observations with the internationalisation strategies adopted by French the regions. Also presented are multi-level governance measures in which the actors of regional internationalisation are involved.

Read the paper EN

Also available in FR


Measuring the attractiveness of regions

This working paper provides a conceptual framework for measuring the attractiveness of OECD regions. First, it presents the imperative for rethinking regional attractiveness in the context of global shocks and trends and their regionalised consequences and opportunities. Then, it presents a new framework through which to look at territorial levers for attracting investors, talent and visitors, and where those policy goals can overlap. Various tools, as well a dashboard comprising 55 indicators, are produced which policy-makers can leverage to better understand their strengths and gaps in terms of attractiveness towards international targets.

Read the paper EN

Reg. Dev. Paper for Regions in Globalisation site 




3rd in the OECD webinar series on Rethinking regional attractiveness: Rethinking the attractiveness of tourism regions – 8 Nov 2022

As part of the OECD’s work on rethinking regional attractiveness in the new global environment, this webinar provided an opportunity for participants to hear from a panel of international experts and practitioners as they shared experiences and good practices to address some of the major challenges and opportunities currently facing tourism regions (e.g. Rethinking tourism success, Spreading the benefits within regions, Attracting and retaining staff in regions, and Leveraging tourism as a catalyst for regional development).  

The event was organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), with the support of the European Commission, and in collaboration with the OECD Development Centre (DEV). N.B.  that due to a technical issue, we are unable to provide a recording of the event as originally intended.


Regional development in the new global environment: Case studies in Colombia

In the framework of the EU Regional Development Transition Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the project "Regional development in the new global environment: Argentina, Chile and Colombia" aims to initiate a dialogue with the Colombian Pacific region (and its four departments: Cauca, Chocó, Nariño, Valle del Cauca) and reshape its positioning in the new global environment, through a better understanding of its strategic assets and the impact of the crisis.

The project "Regional development in Colombia: attractiveness for a sustainable and inclusive recovery at the sub-national level in the post-COVID-19 world" is a case study on the department of Córdoba that aims to identify critical factors to improve attractiveness for investors at the sub-national level. Mobilising regional assets and talent, in an inclusive and sustainable manner, will help respond to territorial and social disparities for further subnational development, as part of Colombia's ongoing internationalisation strategyAgenda (in Spanish) (please find the PDF document attached to this email

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A dialogue on the future of regions: Getting creative about regional development- 21 June 2022

This dialogue organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), with support from the European Commission (DG REGIO) supports the work the OECD is leading on rethinking regional attractiveness. In this discussion, Dr. Richard Florida, widely known for his conceptualisation of the creative class and its importance in fostering economic development, provides a keynote address on how diversity, creativity and innovation can shape inclusive and sustainable regional development.

Following the keynote, Dr. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose of the London School of Economics, an internationally renowned expert in economic geography and regional science, animates the discussion. He draws on his decades of research in the field of regional science and as a consultant with numerous governments and international organisations. Finally, the floor is open for a dialogue among the participants and the experts. 

Webinar event image


2nd in the OECD webinar series on Rethinking regional attractiveness in the new global environment: Making ports and logistics networks an asset for regional development – 24 May 2022

As part of the OECD’s work on rethinking regional attractiveness in the new global environment, this webinar explored the role of maritime ports as levers to influence the attractiveness of regions vis a vis international investors (and exporters), talent, and visitors.

The event was organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), with the support of the European Commission, and in collaboration with the OECD International Transport Forum (ITF), the OECD Development Centre (DEV) and the International Association of Cities and Ports (AIVP). International experts and practitioners shared experiences and good practices on how port infrastructure can enhance regional development. 

Event Image for Regions in Globalisation Page 

Dialogue on the future of regions: Geographies of opportunity in the new global environment – 8 Feb 2022

Two renowned experts harvested insights on the future of regions through discussions on how to rethink territorial development in the new global environment. Dr. Parag Khanna, author of Move: The Forces Uprooting Us discusses how global migrations – accelerated by megatrends such as climate change, automation and globalisation – explored the future of regions. Acclaimed expert in regional science, Dr. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose animated the discussion with Dr. Khanna, unpacking how and why these changes will come about and what regions can do to attract (young) talent and build a sustainable path forward. 

Webinar: What makes a region attractive? How to measure and monitor – 29 Nov 2021

Organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), with support from the European Commission (DG REGIO), this webinar was the first in a series on Rethinking Regional Attractiveness. It informs the OECD’s work on Rethinking territorial development strategies in the new global environment, and the wider CFE activity on Regions in Globalisation.Participants exchanged views on the OECD’s innovative approach to helping policy-makers understand and assess the international profile of regions, as well as their attractiveness to international investors, talent and visitors.


Launch Event:  Regional Development in the New Global Environment: Argentina, Chile and Colombia – 2 July 2021

The regional dimension of the national development plans in the global context of COVID-19

Through the analysis and understanding of the position of the regions in globalisation, the OECD aims to promote a dialogue between the different levels of government and with the private sector and civil society to address regional disparities in Latin America.

The discussion focused on the regional dimension of national recovery plans and their contribution enhancing the regional position in the new global environment. Experience-sharing on internationalisation and regional attractiveness policies will explore how to develop a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive development after the impact of COVID-19.


Webinar : “Which relocation strategies for resilient regional development? The Case of nearshoring – 16th September 2021

In the context of the OECD project on Regional development in the new global environment, this webinar considered the conditions in which relocation strategies could be an effective instrument for recovery and long-term resilience seizing on lessons from the Covid- 19 crisis. A territorial focus is key to assessing the potential impact of reshoring/offshoring and nearshoring opportunities and strategies, and successful ways to implement them.


Contact Information

If you have questions about the OECD Regional Attractiveness and Migrant Integration (RAMI) Unit's work on regions, or if you are interested in becoming a partner region and/or country, and benefiting from the outcomes of this project, please feel free to contact us directly.

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