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What Is Economic Development Consulting?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Economic development consulting refers to a process whereby economic professionals assist communities, policy makers or a defined geographical area in achieving infrastructure development, growing in human capital, and increasing their regional and global competitiveness. During the process of economic development consulting, the professionals also help their clients in other areas like environmental development, educational development, development of the health sector and even social development. All of these factors are aspects of economic development because the social, environmental and health stability of the people facilitate economic development.

During the initial stages of economic development consulting, the professionals will work with their clients to devise an economic development strategy. This process involves an assessment of the available resources with a view to finding out the areas that are lacking. Once an area has been identified, the development professionals can then proceed to develop a clear and precisely tailored economic development strategy.

Another factor of economic development consulting is the attraction of foreign investors into a community to help in the development of various industries and the stimulation of the economy. For instance, if the area of concentration is the manufacturing sector, the consultants will work with local and foreign investors to develop a plan whereby the investors can establish manufacturing plants and start production. This will stimulate the economy by improving the labor sector, providing investment money, and making the community more internationally competitive.

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During economic development consulting, the consultants also work with the already existing local business base to help them in the areas of expansion and business development. They may do this by contacting other business professionals to help in areas like conducting market analysis, developing sales and marketing strategies, and developing international ties. Consultants could help local businesses reach international markets through the arrangement of international trade shows in which they can showcase their products. Another way would be through consultants directly contacting foreign investors on behalf of the local businessmen and women.

These consultants also help their clients establish economic development programs that are meant to stimulate economic growth. Such programs may be aimed at targeted areas like the housing market or the general economy of the region. Part of the services offered by these consultants include the development of the health, social and environmental sectors. All of these sectors play an important role in the economic development of a region. For example, as part of the development of the health sector, they could initiate projects aimed at providing safe drinking water for the community.

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