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Nazarian College Marketing Professor Speaks on Place Branding at WTCLA FDI Report Release Webinar

June 16, 2021

CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics recently sponsored the World Trade Center of Los Angeles’s (WTCLA) Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Report Release webinar on June 2 where marketing professor, Dr. Qin Sun made a presentation on the importance of “Place Branding” in regard to foreign direct investment. 

The virtual event focused on the global economic disruption caused by COVID-19, which reduced FDI around the world, impacting California as well. Consequently, Dr. Sun’s presentation on place branding provided timely research on attracting and increasing foreign direct investment in California. 

“Every year, WTCLA partners with a local university on the analysis of our FDI report to showcase their research capacity and obtain more information on how that research speaks to foreign direct investment,” said Stephen Cheung, president of the WTCLA. “This year we were delighted to partner with the Nazarian College and Dr. Sun, who provided an excellent analysis on place branding for California and what that means for attracting more FDI to support and grow our economy.”

Place branding refers to marketing activities to promote a positive place image in order to increase the visibility and reputation for the locations, help attract foreign travelers and investors and stimulate local economic development. 

“One key aspect of place branding is to establish a strategic orientation of a place to show its competitive advantages with respect to the target audience and key stakeholders,” said Dr. Sun. 

During her presentation, Dr. Sun outlined the competitive advantages of California that can be used to increase foreign direct investment including industry sectors that have the largest percentage of foreign direct investment in the state, which were manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade. Furthermore, California had the largest percentage of FOE employment during 2007-2018. Dr. Sun’s findings were based on reports from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the WTCLA.

In addition to her presentation, Dr. Sun participated on the event’s panel which focused on the analysis of the 2021 FDI Report and was moderated by WTLCA President Stephen Cheung. She was joined by Arthur Girard, Economist at the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics; Darlene Chiu Bryant, Executive Director of Global:SF; and Gurbax Sahota, President and CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). The event also featured a keynote speech from California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and opening remarks from Nazarian College Dean Chandra Subramaniam. 

“We were honored to partner with WTCLA on the 2021 FDI report,” said Chandra Subramaniam, dean of the Nazarian College. “It is important to connect with local community groups and share our faculty’s research to provide useful information to businesspeople across the nation.”

A summary and recording of the WTCLA FDI Report Release Webinar can be found here.


The World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA) is a not-for-profit public benefit organization dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment to the Los Angeles region and facilitating business opportunities between Los Angeles and international companies.