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SEATTLE: January 18, 2018. Amazon has chosen 19 U.S. cities plus Toronto, Canada from 238 locations across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as possible sites for its second headquarters.

A final decision on which location will be the recipient of US$5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs is expected later this year, according to the company.

Amazon HQ2The 20 cities are: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, 'Montgomery County' Maryland, Nashville, Newark, New York City, 'Northern Virginia', Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington D.C.

In addition to local hiring and investment, the company says the construction and operation of a second headquarters is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and "tens of billions of dollars" in additional investment in the surrounding community.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough - all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," said Holly Sullivan, Amazon Public Policy. "Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation."

Amazon will now request additional information from the remaining cities prior to choosing the fortunate finalist. Over the past five years the company says it has invested US$100 billion in the U.S. on corporate offices, R&D centers, a fulfillment infrastructure and employee pay and benefits.

According to the Milken Institute's Best-Performing U.S. Cities 2017 Index, the Amazon shortlisted cities of Raleigh NC, Dallas TX, Nashville TN and Austin TX placed second, third, eightth and ninth respectively.

The Index, published annually since 1999, uses fact-based metrics to evaluate the relative growth of metropolitan areas. They include growth in jobs, wages and salaries and technology output over time as well as the high-tech sector where concentrations are higher than the national average.

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